Airport upgrade with regional and national impacts

Greece’s second airport, serving some four million passengers a year, is extending its main runway out into the Aegean Sea. Once completed, this will enable Makedonia International Airport of Thessaloniki to welcome almost all kinds of aircraft from anywhere in the world.

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The work builds on an earlier EU improvement project at this airport, which currently serves around a third of the nation’s population. In the project’s second phase, contractors are lengthening runway 10-28 – a take-off and landing runway – by 1 000 m towards the sea. It will also be modernised along its total length of 3 440 m.

Further work includes the construction of a new waiting area for aircraft on the landing section of runway 10-28 and connecting strips to the parallel runway. Signalling and control equipment for the runways are also being installed. The new facilities, which are expected to become operational in 2015.

Region-wide benefits

Modernisation of this key airport is expected to boost the economic development of the region of Macedonia, by enabling greater volumes of passenger and cargo traffic. It should also ensure the region is more attractive for tourism and businesses. Thanks to the longer runway, the airport will be able to accommodate practically every kind of aircraft, including transatlantic flights and long-haul flights without stop-overs.

This project contributes to the trans-European airport network, which forms part of the EU’s trans-European transport networks – the so-called TEN-T Programme. It is also one of the priority projects agreed by the European Commission and Greece for the period 2007-13.

The project is expected to create 181 new jobs during construction and 88 jobs once it is operational.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Conclusion of the upgrade of the Makedonia state airport of Thessaloniki (2nd stage)” is EUR 173 409 382, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 93 693 972 through the “Improving Accessibility” Operational Programme under the priority “Air transport-TEN airports” for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

10/04/2014