Athens International Airport

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Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos", commonly initialized as "AIA", began operation on 28 March 2001 and is the primary international airport that serves the city of Athens and the region of Attica.

It is Greece's busiest airport and it serves as the hub and main base of Aegean Airlines as well as other Greek airlines. Athens International is the 28th busiest airport in Europe.

I had a chance to visit Athens airport, during a short connecting flight by Aegean Airlines from Tbilisi to Chania (see: About Tbilisi - Athens - Chania (Greece) flight by Aegean Airlines ) at the start of June 2017.

Athens International Airport

Athens International Airport

AIA is located between the towns of Markopoulo, Koropi, Spata and Loutsa, about 20 km (12 mi) to the east of central Athens (30 km (19 mi) by road, due to intervening hills). The airport is named after Elefthérios Venizélos, the prominent Cretan political figure and Prime Minister of Greece, who made a significant contribution to the development of Greek aviation and the Hellenic Air Force in the 1930s.

 As to-date, ownership is divided between the Hellenic Republic (Greek State) and Private Sector in a 55%-45% stake following a PPP scheme for the airport company. Currently, private investors include the Copelouzos Group (5%) and PSP Investments of Canada (40%), following purchase of Hochtief's shares.

The city center is reachable by metro paying a special 10 EUR one way price. Airport also features a locker room to store you baggage, as we actually did, while decided to spend a few hours in city, before returning to airport for our next flight to Chania, Crete. Price for locker room EUR 9 in total.

The airport currently has two terminals, the main terminal and the satellite terminal accessible by an underground link from the main terminal. It is designed to be extended in a modular approach over the ensuing years in order to accommodate increases in air travel. These extensions are planned in a six-phase framework. The first (and current) phase allowed the airport to accommodate 26 million passengers per year. When the airport originally opened, the current phase called for a capacity of only 16 million passengers per year; however, the capacity was able to increase without progressing to the next phase thanks to advanced IT logistics. The sixth and final expansion phase will allow the airport to accommodate an annual traffic of 50 million passengers, with the current layout leaving enough space for five more terminals to be added. As such, the parallel runway system currently in place has been designed to accommodate flight traffic with this high equivalent annual passenger load upon completion of the final expansion phase.

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