Chania Airport was first built in 1954. The original location of this airport was Maleme and at the time, it only served domestic flights. Maleme is located 17 km west of Chania.
Passenger flights did not begin for Chania Airport until 1959. On that same year, the airport was relocated to the military airfield on the Akrotiri or Souda peninsula, which is 14 km north-east of Chania city. The first terminal on the airfield was constructed in 1967 and it was fitted with two aircraft stands.
International flights began in the Chania Airport in 1974. Because of the increasing demand brought about by the growing tourism in Chania, a new passenger building was constructed to ease this demand. A new terminal with six aircraft stands was added to the airport facilities in 1996.
Work was also carried out to expand the airport, and this expansion was finished in 2005. On this year, the Chania Airport was also given the official name of “Ioannis Daskalogiannis National Airport of Chania.” It was named in honour of Ioannis Daskalogiannis, a hero of the Cretan people who fought against the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century.
Though not exactly as busy as the nearby Heraklion Airport, the Chania Airport nonetheless serves around 2.5 million passengers each year. On any given day, around 1,000 passengers go through the Chania Airport, which currently has a total area of 14,650 square metres.
The passenger volume can even go up to 2,500 daily during the months of July and August, when summer is at its peak and the tourists come in droves to visit Crete. Amongst the frequent users of the Chania Airport are the Americans who come to Crete to visit relatives posted at the Souda Bay NATO base, which is located near the airport.
The Chania Airport’s IATA airport code is CHQ. Its domestic flights connect Chania to other airports in Greece such as Athens and Thessaloniki. In addition to domestic flights, the Chania Airport also hosts direct charter flights coming from Britain, Scandinavia, Germany and other European countries.
Because of the volume of traffic being served at the Chania Airport, there have been talks of modernising its facilities. Included in the modernisation plans for the airport is the construction of a new control tower as well as a new building for passengers.
Services in Chania Airport
In Chania airport you will find ATM kiosks but no bank branches, cafeterias and snack bars, an information desk that is open 24 hours a day, a lost luggage office, a number of stores as well as duty free shop, a completely equipped medical centre plus a car parking area just outside the Chania Airport.