GMR Airports Limited (GAL) on Monday announced that it has achieved the concession commencement date (CCD) for design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of a new international airport at Crete, Greece.

The GMR Airport Limited and its Greek partner GEK TERNA together signed the concession agreement in February 2019. This is the first time that an Indian infra major will build and operate an airport in Europe.

GMR and it’s partner TERNA are likely to run the project for 35 years, for which the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already laid the foundation stone.

According to a statement released by GMR, “The consortium intends to invest over 500 million euros for development of the new airport. The project will be funded through a mix of equity, accruals from the existing airport, and financial grant being provided by the government of Greece.”

Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece. Heraklion airport, located in Crete, is the second largest airport in the country. However, it is facing a severe capacity constrain. And, thus it will be replaced by the new airport at Kastelli.

“GMR is the first Indian airport operator to win bid to operate a European airport and also GMR Group’s first foray in the EU region, Along with our partner GEK Terna, we aim to deliver an airport of global standards which will be a matter of pride for Greece. The concession commencement date of the project is a significant milestone in the growth of GMR Airports”

Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman of Energy and International Airports at GMR Group.

GMR Airports operates five airports including India’s busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and Mactan Cebu International Airport in partnership with Megawide in the Philippines.

Apart from this, it is also developing a greenfield airport at Mopa in Goa.