2023: New year, new challenges
6 April 2023
For issue 1 of International Airport Review, Athanasios Vourdas, General Manager of International Airport Heraklion Crete (HER), explains about his vision for the future of travel through the new airport.
2022 was the year that closed the first cycle of the intense crisis in the transport sector that came about because of the pandemic. At the same time, it was accompanied by the energy crisis which was aggravated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war. The year ended having given another impetus to transportation, restoring a large part of the losses of the previous two years, but adding the need to reduce energy costs. In the case of the New Airport of Crete under construction, in Kastelli Heraklion, the end of 2022 found us with the finalised redesign of the project and with the consent of the Greek State, in order to meet all modern needs including those arising from the period of the health crisis, but also a project that respects the environment and ensures conditions of sustainability and social responsiveness.
Accommodating an increase of passengers
Terminal floorspace is increased by 20,000m2 (the total capacity of the terminal under construction is 94,000m2) by adding larger passenger service areas, creating flexible design in the internal operation of the areas. The new terminal will have 10 passenger boarding bridges, 19 boarding gates and more than 13,000m2 of commercial area. Additionally, the accesses to arrivals and departures are upgraded, apron capacity is increased to accommodate 16 general aviation flights and 28 commercial flights. A special industrial zone is created for polluting activities (biological purification, fuel farm, water tanks) and the new infrastructure is designed to ensure environmental protection by increasing vehicle parking spaces by 40%, which includes 25% more electrical vehicle spaces. These are some of the new elements that make up the new airport of Crete’s redesigned project.
A new airport which aspires to welcome the first passengers at the beginning of 2027 and on its first day of operation will have the capacity to serve 11 million passengers annually, with expansion possibilities to meet the needs of 17 million passengers over 30 years.