By F. Zois
Fraport Greece's revised goal for 2018 is an increase in passenger traffic by 5 percent from this year's figure, which if compared to the previous year, 2016, was up by 11.4 percent. The German-Greek consortium has also revised, upwards, its capital investment for the 14 regional airports around Greece that it acquired last April for a period of 40 years.
All 14 of the airports, located in and near Greece's best-known and visited holiday destinations, are set for major renovations and upgrades, with some set to acquire brand new terminals.
Based on the concession contract, Fraport Greece is obliged to invest 330 million euros to improve the airports until 2021, although company officials recently said the figure will reach 415 million euros. A total outlay of more than one billion euros is cited by the company for long-term investments at the 14 airports.
Specifically, based on the plans announced by the concessionaire, five new terminals will be built at the airports of Thessaloniki, Corfu, Cephalonia, Kos and Mytilene (the capital of the island of Lesvos). The entire size of all 14 terminals will reach 300,000 square meters, and check-in points will increase from 213 to 297.
Security checkpoints will nearly double, from 44 to 84, and gates will increase from 115 to 150, while a state-of-the-art baggage handling system will be installed in the 14 regional airports.
Another "big-ticket" item on the drawing board is the upgrading of all runways and aprons.
Essentially, Fraport Greece has promised to either built new facilities or fully upgrade existing ones, including fire houses, parking etc.
On a related matter, a decision by an technical resolution committee is due by the end of the year on Fraport Greece's demand for 74.5 million euros (VAT included) in rebates from the Greek state. The former alleges that some facilities were in worse condition than what was originally assessed, while other omissions - i.e. the number of working fire trucks at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport, for instance - were also detected after assumption of the concession.
The government, especially the relevant transport ministry, heatedly disputes the Fraport Greece claim.
If both side are dissatisfied with the decision, then the matter will probably head to arbitration.