(Crete, Greece) – Greece has recently extended the deadline for bids to replace the old Heraklion Airport with a new, modernized one. According to one of the country’s infrastructure ministers, the new deadline is set at October 27, 2016. The deadline was originally set for February of 2016 but the deadline has been pushed back on several occasions.
George Dedes, the Secretary General for Infrastructure, told Reuters that, “The (infrastructure) minister decided today to postpone it by a few days, after a request by four interested parties.”
Since 2009, the country has tried on several occasions to attract investors who may be interested in becoming part of the project. Total, it has been estimated that the project is worth about 850 million euros. Despite the country’s best efforts thus far, investors haven’t been attracted to the project. Many fear that the debt crisis will stand in the way of the project’s successful completion. Now that Greece is underway with its third bailout, the government is hopeful that this will change people’s perceptions.
The new airport, which will be housed in Kasteli, is predicted to become the country’s fourth largest airport once it is complete. The current airport in Heraklion struggles to handle the 2.6 million passengers on average that pass through. The airport is fairly small and often seems disorganized, which is why a new airport to service the island is needed.
July was supposed to have been a big deadline for the new airport, but that deadline has elapsed. Of the overall project, Prime Minister Tsipras has showed his support saying that there are, “multiple benefits to many sectors of the island economy, besides tourism.”
The Greek construction company, GEK TERNA is expected to place a bid before the deadline passes. There are also other firms from all over the world who are expected to place bids.