Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos laid the foundation stone of the new Larnaca Airport building on Friday, with construction expected to be concluded in three and a half years.
Upgrading of Cyprus’ airports was held back for years over contractual disputes, with the contract finally going to the second preferred bidder.
"In 42 months from now we will have a new and modern passengers’ building that will further contribute in many ways to Cyprus’ development, offering the island a special place in the eastern Mediterranean region", the President said.
President Papadopoulos described this effort as the government’s most vital and prestigious project so far, referring to Cyprus as a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Larnaca airport became the main passenger terminal after the Turkish invasion in 1974, after which Nicosia Airport became part of the UN buffer zone.
Papadopoulos said that from 200,000 passengers in 1974, the airport now serves around 5 million passengers a year.
He said that more than EUR 500 mln will be spent in the next three and a half years for the construction of the first phase of the new airports in Larnaca and Paphos.