Athens International Airport, was officially opened in March 2001, after five years of construction at a total cost of around euro 2.1 billion
The new airport, called Elefterios Venizelos Airport, was necessary to replace the existing, 11 million passenger a year facility at Hellenikon to the south of Athens, which was no longer capable of coping with increasing air traffic.
The first plans for transferring the airport from the Elliniko to some other location were initiated during the period of dictatorship, a time when Athens started to expand. As a result, the old airport became totally surrounded by everywhere. The idea was kept alive even after the (Political changeover), and notably in 1976 a study was presented to the Greek Government which suggested that the ideal location for a new airport would be Spata. However, as it was the time that Greece entered a period with many internal and external problems, the entire plan was given up.
In the beginning of the 1990ís it was obvious that the Elliniko could not serve the augmented passenger needs for the future - unless it expanded itself. Yet ,as this was not feasible no way, and with the protests rising regarding noise and high danger, the Greek Government finally decided to transfer the airport to an area outside Athens. The location remained the same, and at July 31st 1995, following an international competition, the German company Hochtief was selected for the construction and co-ownership of the airport with the Greek State.
In accordance with the standards of IATA, its code is ATH (the same as that for Elliniko)
and according to the standards of ICAO is LGAV.
History of Athens Airport