Athens International Airport, which began operation in March 2001, serves the city of Athens, Greece.
Athens International Airport is located between the towns of Markopoulu, Koropi, Spata and Loutsa, about 20 km east of Athens city centre. Athens International Airport is named after Eleftherios Venizelos, the Cretan politician and Prime Minister of Greece, who was prominent in the Cretan rising against the Ottoman occupation of Crete in 1896 and is considered as one of the most prominent politicians in modern Greece.
The runways are approximately 4 kilometers in length. Athens International Airport was developed by public-private partnership. Greece holds 55% of the shares. Athens International Airport is considered one of the most expensive airports in Europe since its restaurants and cafes have to pay a very high rent. Athens International Airport was honored with the title of “European Airport of the Year 2004”, within the framework of the annual Institute of Transport Management (ITM) Awards, for its innovative entrepreneurial scheme and the airport’s successful operation and achievements.
Athens International Airport is designed to be upgraded over the years to accommodate increase in air travel. The upgrades are planned in 6 phases. The first phase (current phase) will make Athens International Airport able to accommodate 16 Million passengers a year. The 6th phase will make Athens International Airport able to accommodate as many as 50 million passengers a year.
In 2005, Athens International Airport served 14.3M passengers, 4.5% more than in 2004.
A rail station immediately adjacent to the airport terminal (and accessible by an elevated walkway) was completed in time for the 2004 Olympics. The station is served by line 3 of the Athens Metro and by the Proastiakos suburban train service. Athens International Airport is also accessible by Attiki Odos Motorway. Athens International Airport has replaced the old Athens (Ellinikon) International Airport.