Indian infra major to build airport in Europe and operate it for 35 years with partner TERNA

NEW DELHI: In a first, an Indian infra major will build and operate an airport in Europe. GMR Airports Ltd (GAL) Monday said it has announced its has achieved “concession commencement date” to design, build and operate a new airport at Crete, Greece. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has laid the foundation stone of this project, which GMR and its partner TERNA will run for 35 years. The project is debt-free and will be funded by a government grant.
GAL and its Greek partner GEK TERNA had signed the concession agreement for a new international airport in Heraklion, Crete, last February. “The concession period for the project is 35 years, including phase 1 construction of 5 years. The consortium intends to invest over 500 million Euro for the development of the new airport. The project is well-funded through support from the government of Greece grant and would not require any debt,” GAL said in a statement.
Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece. Its Heraklion airport is Greece’s second largest airport in the country but faces a severe capacity constraint. It will be replaced by the new airport at Kastelli.
Srinivas Bommidala, GMR Group chairman (energy and international airports), said: “GMR is the first Indian airport operator to win bid to operate a European airport and (this is) also GMR Group’s first foray in the EU region. It is a matter of great pride for us to work on this prestigious airport project. Along with our partner GEK Terna, we aim to deliver an airport of global standards which would be a matter of pride for Greece. The concession commencement date of the project is a significant milestone in the growth journey of GMR Airports.…”
GMR had in the past been associated with airports in Istanbul and Male. A subsidiary of GMR Infra, GAL currently has a combined annual passenger capacity 17.2 crore passengers annually at its airports, that are in operation and some being developed. These include: airports in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mactan Cebu International in Philippines; an upcoming one at Goa’s Mopa and now Crete. A GMR JV consortium has won the Clark International Airport’s project, its second project in the Philippines. The group recently received a letter of intent for development and operations of Nagpur Airport on PPP basis and development and operation of greenfield airport at Bhogapuram in Andhra Pradesh.

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