ECONOMY

Private investors to land at airports

Private investors will participate in the reconstruction and expansion of Greece’s regional airports, as the Transport Ministry does not have the necessary resources to fund these projects, said Minister Costis Hatzidakis yesterday. Within the next few days the ministry will appoint the special consultants required to assist in the realization of a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. Among the proposals they will examine is the transformation of airports with significant tourist arrivals into companies with shareholders, who could be banks, private investors and even local authorities. During the presentation of plans for the aesthetic upgrading of regional airports, Hatzidakis said that even the model of Athens International Airport is being considered for the development of certain regional airports. However he acknowledged that there is a risk of airport charges soaring if airports are operated by private investors. The facelift program involves the airports of Iraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Hania, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Samos, Kos and Skiathos. So far there have been interventions to improve services at Iraklion, Rhodes, Samos, Hania and Corfu. The minister stressed that at this stage there will be no rise in charges or levies for the use of regional airports, in order to facilitate the operation of airlines and strengthen tourism.