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Who owns the airports?

Except for Athens International Airport and the airports run by Fraport, all airports in Greece are owned and run by the government.

The Greek government maintains authority and oversight over the finance, building, completion, operation, development, and administration of the Athens airport, which is run by Athens International SA. This company has the exclusive right and responsibility to carry out these tasks.

14 regional airports in Greece are maintained, run, managed, improved, and developed by Fraport Greece.

Additionally, in accordance with Law 3913/2011, suitable sociétés anonymes may be constituted for the management and operation of all or a subset of Greek regional airports in accordance with a decision of the relevant Intra-Ministerial Committee of Asset Restructuring and Privatization.

Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, and Networks of the Greek government oversee the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, often known as H.C.A.A. or Υ.Π.Α. in Greek. It is involved in airport operations, aircraft registration and inspection, air traffic control, aeronautical communications, civil air operator license, and employee certification.

The HCAA's main office is in Glyfada, next to the former Ellinikon Airport.

Greek Airports, Fraports Greece LOGO

Fraport Greece

The German transportation business Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, also known as Fraport, runs Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt am Main and has stakes in numerous other airports worldwide.


By signing a privatization agreement in December 2015, the Greek government gave Fraport and the Greek energy company Copelouzos a 1.2 billion euro contract to lease and run 14 regional airports for a 40-year concession. Beginning on April 11, 2017, The Fraport assumed control of the 14 regional airports. After the construction, they published the master plans for each airport and computer renderings (external views) of all 14 airports.

Athens International Airport S.A.

The company that owns and operates Athens International Airport is called Athens International Airport S.A., or AIA.

The Greek government owned a majority (55% of the company's capital when it was founded), while Hochtief owned the remaining 45%. The E.U. gave AIA a 250 million euro grant to construct the new Athens airport. The Athens International Airport opened for business on March 29, 2001. It was named the best airport in Europe in 2004. The airport was constructed in advance of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. The 30-year concession that AIA now has over the Athens airport will end in 2026.

HCAA communications facilities

The Hellenic CAA employs a number of remotely controlled VHF radio stations at the following sites for civil aviation communications:

The HCAA uses several radar stations

The HCAA uses several radar stations.

The radar stations are integrated using the PALLAS system (Phased Automation of the heLLenic ATC radar System).

What system is there for the licensing of airports?

The Basic Regulation for Airport Licensing, Functioning, and Operating is approved by Ministerial Decision D3/A/20357/2002. Its goal is to lay forth the standards and processes by which the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) accredits Greek airports that serve international flights. No matter who owns operates, or is in charge of them, the HCAA must verify that they offer the required degree of security, regularity, and effectiveness.

An airport certificate is necessary for all Greek airports that operate international flights. The HCAA must receive a form from the airport license applicant and the airport handbook. Before the certificate is granted, the HCAA inspects the airport to ensure it satisfies several requirements, including that the applicant and personnel have the skills and knowledge required to run and maintain the airport and that an appropriate safety management system is in place.

The airport certificate licensing system requires the airport operator to maintain the airport's regular, efficient, and safe operation and grant authorized HCAA officials access to the airport to conduct security audits, inspections, and testing.

The following is a list of steps in the airport certification process:

  • preparation and expression of interest from the applicant for the certificate;

  • submission of the official application, including the airport manual;

  • provision of the necessary facilities, equipment, service, and airport operating procedures;

  • the act itself of issuance or denial of the airport certificate; and

  • notification of the certified status of the airport and the publication of related details in the Greek Aeronautical Information Manual.

Is there a system of economic regulation of airports?
How does it function?

The operator may set fees for all airport users, according to Chapter I of Ministerial Decision D3/A/20357/2002, which establishes the Basic Regulation for Airport Licensing, Functioning, and Operating. The following are the fundamental criteria used to calculate airport fees:

  • the maintenance of a high level of services to support the airport’s economic efficiency and competitiveness;

  • the existence of incentives for the efficient and economically effective use of the existing infrastructure;

  • the prevention of abuse of dominant position;

  • the assurance of necessary funding to meet future demand;

  • the achievement of local and regional economic development objectives; and

  • the assurance of transparency and direct presentation of all necessary financial assets.

Are there laws or rules restricting or qualifying access to airports?

A broad right to provide air transport services on domestic routes and routes inside the European Union is granted to air carriers having an operating license under Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 and HCAA Regulation D1/D30817/2180. However, when the state puts public service responsibilities on scheduled airlines that serve regional yet important locations to support economic growth, there are further limits on unrestricted access to the market for air transport services. As a result, it is feasible to restrict access to a route to a single carrier chosen through a public tender. Furthermore, to lessen air traffic congestion and delays, the state may also slowly limit through slots distribution.

How are slots allocated at congested airports?

Regulation (EC) No. 541/2009, which outlines the slot capacity available for allocation, the allocation procedure, and the monitoring of proper slot use, governs the distribution of slots in Greece. The term "slot" refers to a coordinator's authorization to utilize all airport facilities required to run an air service at a coordinated airport on a particular day and time for landing or taking off, as determined by the coordinator. Additionally, it's important to remember that slot allocation allows air carriers access to airport facilities for dock and taking off at certain times and dates for the period for which the authorization is given. The coordinator is the only person in charge of allocating slots. The coordinator does so by the guidelines in the Regulation above and will include a clause stating that slots may also be assigned outside of regular business hours in an emergency.

The Hellenic Slot Coordination Authority, which assigns slots for aircraft at Greek airports, is established in Greece under Law 3534/2007. Commercial aviation services, namely scheduled services and planned non-scheduled air services, should be given precedence when all slot demands cannot be handled to the satisfaction of the involved air carriers. When there are many requests for the same type of services, the year-round operations will be given preference. Lastly, slots might be:

  • transferred by an air carrier from one route or type of service to another course or type of service operated by that same air carrier;

  • shared between parent and subsidiary companies and between subsidiaries of the same parent company as part of the acquisition of control over the capital of an air carrier;

  • obtained in a total or partial takeover when the slots are directly related to the air carrier taken over; or

  • exchanged, one by one, between air carriers.

Are there any laws or rules specifically relating to ground handling? What are they?

Presidential Decree 285/1998, Law 3913/2011 (articles 23 and 24), Law 4427/2016, and the Basic Land Service Regulation of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (D3/B/16067/3831, Government Gazette B' 1138/2011) typically govern ground handling. Because of the terms of this Regulation, ground service agents who work at airports in the European Union have the freedom to access the market services provided by the ground service there. However, when specific restrictions on the airport's capacity or available space exist, it is often hard to develop a market for ground services. In these situations, the ground service agents are only chosen after a competition if they meet specific requirements. Furthermore, following selection, they must abide by the safety and security guidelines outlined in the Regulation above.

The decision made by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport in response to requests made by the appropriate aeronautical authority before the start of the operations in question controls the employment of specific ground service agents at Greek airports.

The following categories represent the operations of the ground service agents:

  • baggage handling;

  • ramp handling;

  • fuel and oil handling; and

  • freight and mail handling.

Who provides air
traffic control services?
And how are they regulated?

According to Law 3913/2011's requirements, the General Air Navigation Department is responsible for providing air traffic control services in Greece.

In specifically, the following services are offered for air traffic control:


  • to all flights flown according to instrument flight rules in a restricted aerial space (air corridors, terminals, etc);

  • to all flights flown in the control zone of the airport when the necessary visual conditions are unavailable (special visual flight rules flights); and

  • in the whole airport’s traffic zone in the controlled aerodromes of the country.

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