Cyprus Mail

Three expressions of interest to commercialise old Larnaca airport, minister says

Larnaca airport

Three international entities have expressed interest in setting up shops, a small hotel and an exhibition space at the old Larnaca airport terminal building, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said on Sunday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a charity basketball match members of the cabinet took part in, Demetriades said the bidding process for the unused space was held in collaboration with airports’ operator Hermes. Hermes will run the airport for another 15 years under its contract with the government.

“There has been interest from three groups and we are currently examining the proposals. We hope to come to some agreement for a development project that will help the local economy,” Demetriades said.

Asked for more details, he said they were organisations from abroad and involved a combination of developments including shops, a small hotel and an exhibition hall or logistics centre. They are within the realm of what we expected because of the nature of the space,” he said.

“The examination of the proposals has begun. We will enter into negotiations with them and hope one will be chosen within the coming months.”

Asked about the creation of a new archaeological museum, the minister said that the bidding contest would be announced by the end of May.

“It is important for this competition to have the correct choice of architects with an international reputation,” he added.
The total allocation for the project is around 50 million euros and will be financed by the state as part of the promotion of the country and its heritage.

Demetriades said it was hoped construction on the museum would begin in 2018.

The minister was also asked about the contract for outside security to handle passenger screening at the island’s airports to free up police for immigration and security duties.

He said this was something that would happen gradually over time, beginning with farming out a portion of screening services.

He also mentioned the steps taken in conjunction with the justice minister to ease the situation at Paphos airport “in order to solve the problems and make sure there is no inconvenience to passengers”.

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