With some 1.4 million passengers crossing its airport gates every year, Mykonos is the Mediterranean’s hottest, hippest holiday diva, rivaling the likes of Ibiza, St Barths and Saint Tropez in terms of glamour, beauty and fun.
What’s more, this number is on the rise. Statistics speak of a growth rate in tourism of over 13 percent per year; while just in the first five months of 2019 passenger traffic in Mykonos airport has increased by 14.6 % in relation to the same period last year.
Much more than just another popular destination, the island of the winds is in fact a powerful icon: An internationally recognised, uber prestigious, brand name. As such, it deserves -and requires- befitting infrastructures. With this reasoning, Fraport, the German-Greek company which is responsible for the operation and management of 14 regional airports in Greece, has launched an ambitious, 25 million worth, revamp project, that shall turn Mykonos’ into a “world-class airport worthy of the island’s global reputation”.
The novel architectural plans for the sparkling addition to the island of the winds, revealed at the Semeli
While works are underway -a series of aesthetic and operational upgrades have already been made- the exciting plans for the new Mykonos airport, were recently unveiled -and enthusiastically received- at a special event, appropriately held at the Semeli: One of the best 5 star boutique hotels in Mykonos town; distinctly beautiful, effortlessly sophisticated with world class comforts, opulent accommodation options, first class facilities and bespoke services; the Semeli, like the novel aerodrome, is another prime example of this island’s fascinating nature.
New Mykonos airport: Exemplifying Aegean architecture
“Mykonos stands firmly on its feet and today it constitutes an exemplary case for the global tourism industry. Fraport Greece is here to enhance this extraordinary course. Through the development and upgrading of Mykonos airport’s infrastructure, we aim to give Mykonos what is missing today. An airport worthy of its reputation, a modern airport, with integrated services that will meet the expectations of every visitor,” Fraport Greece CEO Alexander Zinell said, underlining that Fraport’s plans for the airport’s revamp is very close to the “true spirit” of the popular Greek island.
Raising the bar
As revealed at the event at the Semeli, the airport’s “new face” will combine modern function with the traditional Cycladic style; while its improvements will enhance both service quality and capacity.
Since its inauguration in 1971 the airport’s facilities have gone through a series of uncoordinated modifications and expansions. Designing the new Mykonos airport was therefore a considerable challenge for the architectural teams of K-STUDIO and BETAPLAN.
The aim was to create a structure which would meet the requirements of a modern day airport terminal; but at the same time showcase the iconic Mykonian character. This was after all, a non negotiable prerequisite for the local society. In fact, following public demand, Fraport’s initial designs were modified (with a further 7 million being added to the mix!), so as to comply with this imperative. Inspired by the Aegean pigeon houses -prime samples of the island’s vernacular architecture– the novel architectural solution seamlessly connects Mykonos’ tradition with its contemporary side.
“We are particularly proud of the architectural design of the new Mykonos Airport, which combines the vision of the company with the unique features of the Myconian lifestyle. This new architectural approach is the result of a continuous dialogue with the local community” stressed CEO Alexander Zinell, during the presentation at the Semeli.
In the same spirit, mayor Konstantinos Koukas asserted: “A new jewel is being added to Mykonos that substantially upgrades the services the island provides to its millions of visitors who arrive mostly by air every year from all over the world,” underlining the importance of upgrading the island’s infrastructure with respect to its traditional architecture in order to maintain the destination’s identity.
New Mykonos airport: The journey begins here
Refurbishment plans are underway and include the extension of a total area of 2000m2 to the northern side of the existing building that will host the airport’s new arrivals area. Check in counters will increase from 14 to 16 while one additional boarding gate will be added, bringing the number of gates up to seven. For this reason, the existing building will be expanded by another 500m2. All airport areas will be completely remodeled and refurbished, including the existing sanitary facilities and new retail and F&B areas will be added. Plans also include the creation of two new VIP lounges and the redesigning of the entire curbside area.
With the completion of the expansion and remodeling works, the total area of the airport terminal will increase to 13,350 sq.m. from 10.000 sq.m. that it is today. Moreover, a new fire station in line with international safety standards is currently under construction, and is expected to be ready in October 2019.
A prominent symbol of Cycladic architecture, the new Mykonos airport shall be completed in 2021. In absolute synch with the surrounding landscape, it shall be introducing travellers to the true island’s spirit from the moment they land on its soil.
This is certainly exciting news for aficionados and neophytes alike; as access to the glitzy, glamorous 24 hour bonanza that Mykonos is, shall be easier, smoother and more enjoyable than ever!