Sustainability Approach

The new International Airport of Heraklion Crete (hereafter IAHC) will be developed in a sustainable manner by promoting the environmental and social responsibility through a holistic approach throughout its activities.

IAHC prioritizes the protection of the environment and has set as a high importance goal the adoption and implementation of the principles of sustainable development. Therefore, IAHC’s strategic framework and objectives are strongly related with the majority of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • Following the conception and the development of the initial Airport master plan, a scientific team consisting of expert ornithologists, biologists, environmentalists, environmental engineers, sociologists, civil and forest engineers prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study in 2009 and the Supplementary EIA study in 2011, as approved by the Joint ministerial Decision no. 143779/28-8-2009), and doc. No. Οικ201434/18-07-2011 of the Special Environmental Authority of the General Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (“Approved Environmental Terms”) and based on which the environmental planning framework was developed.
  • Based on the Approved Environmental Terms and the environmental planning framework established by IAHC, a team of technical engineers along with environmental experts prepared an updated Master Plan incorporating the Environmental Strategy which sets a strategic vision for the airport facilities in compliance with any and all applicable national, European and/or international legislation, policies and regulations relating to the protection of the environment.
  • The environmental impacts of the Airport Project, along with the appropriate mitigation measures for minimizing the footprint to the natural and social environment, were identified and processed again in the abovementioned updated Master Plan, following which, a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study was prepared in 2021 in order to include such newly identified environmental impacts and mitigation measures.
  • IAHC’s Master Plan runs through 2050 and acknowledges that sustainable growth is crucial in achieving goals and objectives regarding the protection of the environment while setting the approach to incorporate sustainability into the design, construction and operation of the Airport facilities.

Within the Master Plan (as updated) and the EIA studies, the Environmental Strategy outlines options to improve Airport facilities, operations and economic growth of the local economy.

  • The goals and objectives set within the Master Plan and EIA studies were and will be incorporated in the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) for construction and operation phases of the Airport Project.
  • ESMS presents the impacts analysed within the EIA studies, proposes scientific applications for monitoring potential environmental and social impacts and the appropriate mitigation measures to be applied for each one of the environmental and social parameters examined.

IAHC also promotes the sustainable design and operation for its buildings and infrastructures through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. This approach will lead in the creation of an innovative Green Airport with Green buildings which will serve as an example in the aviation sector of Greece.  

IAHC is committed to continually assess its environmental and social performance while striving on daily basis to define and address any action to minimize its footprint to the environment. Our activities are in compliance with applicable national, European and/or international legislation, policies, and regulations relating to the protection of the environment such as ISO 14001, ISO 50001, ISO 14064, ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation). We follow and promote Best Environmental Practices and Best Available Techniques while aiming in Zero waste emissions and high percentage of material recycling in all of our activities.

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