After many decades of large-scale projects in Greece, Crete seems to become one of the country’s emerging epicentres regarding new infrastructure over the following decade. Crete’s flagship project that is set to be implemented is the new international airport in Kasteli area.
This project is expected to attract investments worth 600mm euros with its tender being at a very advanced stage. During the construction phase, it is expected to create 1.000 new jobs, 500 permanent position during the operation phase and hundreds more with the commercial development of the new international airport.
Kasteli International Airport will replace the airport of Heraklion in Alikarnassos area and will be featuring a 3.2 km-long airstrip, with a high-standards parallel 23-meter wide runway, extendable to 3.8 km, if future requirements, dictate so. Based on the offer’s technical specifications of the current contractor, the airport’s central facilities will be bioclimatic with a surface 71,818 sq.m. The runway will be offering 27 parking positions for the aircrafts and 19 waiting lounges for the passengers. Construction works are set to start in 2018 and be completed in 2023.
The second large-scale project of the island, is Crete’s Northern Motorway Axis, aka “VOAK”. The dream of many Cretans for a modern, covered motorway seems to realistically enter its implementation, for the section between Chania and Heraklion, as it has secured the approval of the Ministry. The project will be probably conceded with a vignette tolling system also under serious consideration.
Its cost is expected to exceed 1.1bn euros with the expropriations being one of its serious issues, as they are anticipated to be particularly expensive. Nevertheless, a combination of a covered motorway and a new airport will definitely boost the island’s economy significantly, regardless of the investment cost. The 2 projects have earnest supporting infrastructure, first of which, is Chania Airport, recently passed under Fraport’s management. The second one is the operation of Aposelemi Dam, which has been under construction for several years and, when completed, will resolve irrigation issues and improve agricultural production in Heraklion and Lasithi Prefectures.
Finally, another strategic growth axis, that will promote further Crete’s development, is the operational improvement of 2 large ports in Heraklion and Souda, supporting actively the island’s economy.