Heraklion International Airport "Nikos Kazantzakis"
Many centuries passed since Ikaros, a popular character of ''Greek Mythology'', flew over Crete. Finally the myth became reality in 1937. The first airport of Heraklion was built ten kilometers east of the Palace of Knossos accommodating the first small planes.
The first plane that ever landed in Heraklion Airport was a Junkers-52, in 1939. This plane had a capacity of 14 passengers. The owner of the plane was the Greek Company of Air Transport. The operation of the airport was interrupted in 1941 due to the Second World War. In the Fall of 1946 the airport resumed its operation with planes DC-3.
At the time, the airport could not offer may conveniences. The whole airport building consisted of three tents.
In 1948, a company called "Ellas" initiated airline connections between Iraklion Airport and other destinations. The total number of passengers served that year, was 4.000. In 1953, a new runway 09-27 was built with a total length of 1850 meters.
In 1957, a new by that time airline company, Olympic Airways, started airline connections between Heraklion-Athens with DC-6B type airplanes. These planes have a capacity of 95 seats, therefore they increased substantially the number of passengers served by Heraklion Airport.
The new airport building was built in 1971. In the late 1980's, a new development project for the airport included additional buildings and additional airplane parking space. The purpose and main aim of the entire project was to provide better and quicker service for airport traffic which would make passenger's life inside the airport, more convenient. New aeronautical systems have been installed along with new safety devices. During the last 10 years and according to the increased requirements of Olympic Games 2004, more buildings have been built as well as a new runway, under consideration, to resolve environmental problems caused by engine noise of the airplanes in the area.
Today, there is enough parking space facilitate fifteen large airplanes (B 747,B 767, B 737, A 300, DC 10, etc.) and there is also a second parking area for light planes. There are various offices available in the airport. These include: Civil Aviation Authority Offices (Administration, Airport Authority, Tower, Maintenance etc.) Duty Free Shop, Information Desk, Airline Companies (Olympic Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa etc.), Representative of Airline Companies, Handling Agent, Tourist Offices (E.O.T., Zeus of Crete), Hotel Reservation Service, Rent a Car Offices, Rent a Bike Offices, Currency Exchange Offices, Bank, Restaurant, Bars, Catering, Luggage Storage Service, Lost & Found, Cart Services, Post office, Medical Office, Baby Rooms, Art Shop, Fuel Companies (EKO, BP, Mobil, Shell).