Hellinikon (or Ellinikon or Hellenikon) International Airport
Aerial view of the airport
|Elevation AMSL||21 m / 68 ft|
The airport is closed to all aviation.
Ellinikon International Airport, sometimes spelled Hellinikon (Greek: ) was the international airport of Athens, Greece for sixty years up until 28 March 2001, when it was replaced by the new Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos. The grounds of the airport are located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of Athens, and just west of Glyfada. It was named after the village of Elliniko (Elleniko), now a suburb of Athens. The airport had an official capacity of 11 million passengers per year, but had served 13.5 million passengers during its last year of operations.
The airport was built in 1938. The Nazis invaded Greece in 1941, and Kalamaki Airfield (as the site was then known) was used as a Luftwaffe air base during the occupation. After World War II, the Greek government allowed the United States to use the airport from 1945 until 1993. Known as Hassani Airport in 1945, it was used by the United States Army Air Forces as early as 1 October 1945, as a base of operations for Air Transport Command flights between Rome, Italy and points in the Middle East. By agreement with Greece, the USAF operated out of the airport for well over four decades. In 1988, Greece decided not to extend the arrangement, and the USAF concluded its operations there in 1991. The airport was the base of operations by the Greek national carrier Olympic Airways.
The airport had two terminals: the West Terminal for Olympic Airways, and the East Terminal for all other carriers.:27 The East Terminal building was designed between 1960 and 1969 by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. Just before its closure in 2001, the airport recorded a 15.6% growth rate over its previous year, serving 13.5 million passengers per year and handling 57 airlines flying to 87 destinations. The airport's official capacity was 11 million passengers per year.
The airport is bounded in the west by beaches, in the south by the Glyfada Golf Club and the Ellinikon-Glyfada municipal boundary, and by residential area.
In April 2011 the Olympic Airways Museum opened in the West Terminal, including three airplanes that had been parked there since the airport's closure. The Athens radar center is still based at Ellinikon.
After its closure the northwest portion of the airport was redeveloped, converting runways into a sports park that housed the 2004 Summer Olympics venues for canoe and kayak slalom, field hockey, baseball, and softball. Other Olympics-related upgrades to the airport included refitting one of the airport's western hangars to become the main Olympic fencing venue and one of the larger Olympic indoor basketball arenas.
In 2005, the international team, led by architects David Serero, Elena Fernandez, and landscape architect Philippe Coignet, won the competition to design a metropolitan park on the former site of the Ellinikon Airport over more than 300 other teams of architects. The competition was sponsored by UIA (International Union of Architects), the Greek Ministry of Environment, and the Organization for the Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens (ORSA). The project was further developed in 2006 and 2007 by this team through two development phases with the planning organizations of Athens. By 2012, government plans to attract investors and develop the site commercially were eclipsing the proposed park, though nearby communities remained vocal about their preference for a park.
Following is a list of accidents and incidents experienced by aircraft that had Ellinikon either as a destination or as a departure point. It only includes events that occurred at the airport or in its vicinity, and only deadly occurrences or hull-losses are listed.
It includes a military base, a West Terminal, which is used solely by Olympic Airways, and a newer (1969) East Terminal, which is used by all the other carriers, and which houses the airport management and airline offices.
Media related to Ellinikon International Airport at Wikimedia Commons