Since my election as Mayor in 1995 I have dealt with the problem of the small Paros airport, whose extension (710 to 1200 m) was included in the operational program of the Aegean Region. However, this extension would have affected the environment of the village of Alyki and especially would limit the accessibility of the island by allowing only internal flights.
On that moment the Municipal Council asked the Region to replace the airport with a new larger airport with a 2000 m runway. After the agreement of the various authorities, the location chosen in 1996 would be that between Kampos and Voutakos with a north-south orientation. The environmental impact assessment was approved in 1997.
In that same year, inhabitants of these localities ap- pealed against the decision to the Council of State (CoS), whose case – law appeared hostile to major projects on small islands because of the risks engendered for their sustainable development. Meanwhile, taking advantage of an unexpected postponement of the hea- ring, the competent ministries, in consultation with the municipal authorities, withdrew the contested decision, which resulted to the dismissal of the case.
This development left open the prospect of a new air- port which, in order to avoid new disputes, should be limited to a runway of only 1400 m. This decision was also the subject of an administrative appeal (before the Ministry of Agriculture), this time for the protection of the butterflies of Psychopiana. A study by the Aegean University, however, refuted this argument and the project was able to advance by overcoming several bureaucratic obstacles (technical studies, expropriations, awarding of the public contract for the construction of the runway with the exception of buildings !! !) Fortunately, Aegean Airlines finally became interested and undertook to complete the necessary works until the end of July 2016, in order to finally operate the air- port. Domestic flights to the new airport are now operated by 70 – passenger aircrafts, while foreign routes are still not insured, by contrast of other comparable destinations such as Skiathos, Mykonos and Santorini.
Ex-Mayor of Paros
PS: The municipal authority has shown great interest in the project which has borne fruit. The same applies to the regional authority of Paros-Antiparos, and to the contribution of Ms. E. Papazoi when the affair was brought to the CoS.
The contribution of hotel businessman V. Karpodinis remains substantial, but it was with the signature of the construction contract by the former minister G. Ragoussis that the final act of the airport saga (21 years) has started.
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