(Athens, Greece) – The abandoned Athens Hellinikon Airport is set to become one of the largest coastal resorts in Europe. At least, that is what a big development company in Greece, Lamda Development, is hoping to do with it. They recently announced their plans to turn the area, which has been decaying since it was abandoned in 2004, into a luxury resort. The massive project is expected to cost around 5.9 billion euros. Lamda’s Chief Executive has said that, “This project is a game-changer. It is going to change the psychology of foreign capital toward investment in Greece.”
The Hellinikon Airport has been abandoned since the new Athens Airport took its place. Currently, it is being used to house makeshift refugee camps. Back when it was being used regularly, it serviced millions of passengers on a constant basis. Back in 2004 when Athens hosted the Olympic Games, it was replaced by the new airport that is in use now. The Hellinikon Airport hasn’t been used since then.
Selling it as part of the privatization program was a requirement in order for the country’s third bailout to be approved. The international creditors have said that the Greek government needs to increase revenue and minimize sending. Privatization deals such as these are part of that plan. Other recent privatization deals have involved several regional airports, the Greek train system, and the port at Piraeus.
Tourism remains strong in a country that has been hit hard by recent events, including the shaky economy, multiple bailouts, and the refugee crisis. Investments such as the planned project at Hellinikon show that the industry could stand to grow even more. The proposed area will be three times the size of the complex that is located at Monaco, which means that it should attract tourists from all over the world.