Airport braces for Olympics

Athens Airport is fully prepared to handle the anticipated surge in traffic during the Olympics, when some 2,000 police and private security guards will be on 24-hour duty, officials said yesterday. Airport officials said over 2 million passengers are expected in the month of August – 33 percent more than last year – while at the peak of the rush one plane will land or take off every minute. The busiest days are expected to be August 12, 13, 14 (the opening ceremony is on the 13th) and 30, when over 78,000 passengers are expected to use the airport at Spata. A total of 20,600 planes are expected at the Eleftherios Venizelos in August, up from 17,600 last year, while the airplane parking area has almost doubled. «I am fully convinced that everything is ready for August’s mass arrivals and departures,» Transport Minister Michalis Liapis told journalists during a visit to the airport. «We have taken all necessary measures to ensure passenger safety.» The airport police force will be increased from 750 to 1,000 officers, while 1,000 private security guards will also be on duty.