Since 1938, Ellinikon has been the only international airport in Athens. After 63 years of successful work, it has closed. This decision was made in 2001 because it was necessary to create a more modern airport to receive guests of the Summer Olympic Games in 2004.
The first steps
Several years ago, the Greek government decided to carry out a large-scale reconstruction of the airport, located 7 km south of Athens. An investment tourism project was created, which had to be postponed because of a barrage of objections from environmentalists, representatives of the real estate industry and residents. The protest was joined by the State Archaeological Service.
The project was to be implemented by the construction company Lamda Development with the attraction of investments from China and the countries of the Persian Gulf. According to the plan, an abandoned airport is being reconstructed into a complex of a network of luxury hotels, restaurants, casinos, and marinas. The cost of construction was estimated at € 8,087,400 ($ 9 million).
Grievances and Objections
However, the public expressed dissatisfaction with the new project, as it concluded that it would damage the environment. And the object, which is the cultural heritage of the country, will lose its authenticity.
Judges in the country's highest administrative court rejected the objections of Athens residents and environmentalists, who were especially against the construction of six 200-meter buildings in the airport. In their opinion, they will lead to a deterioration of the landscape in the area.
Real estate experts argued their objections that high-rise buildings will close the sea view from other objects. That will lead to a significant reduction in their value.
The court considered objections of the country's archeological service at all illegal since the airport’s territory is not within its jurisdiction and is not a place of particular aesthetic or historical value.
Results of litigation
The court was won by the initiators of the construction. There was an opportunity for the speedy implementation of an investment project – Lamda Development will be able to rent the territory of the airport and begin construction. And now the State Council of Greece has taken all the necessary steps that open the way for a construction company.