Chania International Airport “I. Daskalogiannis” (IATA: CHQ, ICAO: LGSA, CAA: KACHND). The airport is located on the peninsula of Akrotiri (or Souda), approximately 14 km from the city of Chania. The airport is the gateway to Western Crete and beyond for an increasing number of tourists.
From 1954, Maleme airfield was also used for civil aviation. In 1959 it was replaced by the Akrotiri airfield. From then on, civil air traffic was handled at the military airfield that had been used until then, while Maleme was closed to civil aviation. In 1967 the airport received a terminal and two aircraft parking bays. With the growth of air traffic to Crete, the airport had to be expanded again in 1974 to handle not only national but also international flights. In 1996, the current terminal was completed, the airport has six parking bays and is said to be able to handle up to 1,350,000 passengers per year. In reality, the number of passengers handled is significantly higher.
Since 2013, the Chania airport has been undergoing a major expansion at a cost of around €110 million, with financial support from the EU. The work is due to be completed in 2015and by autumn 2014 the shell of the new building could be seen next to the old main terminal. As of autumn 2016, the construction work had not yet been completed.
In December 2015, the privatisation of Chania International Airport and 13 other Greek regional airports was completed with the signing of an agreement between the joint venture between Fraport AG and Copelouzos Group and the state privatisation fund. The concession has a term of 40 years from the date of operational takeover on 11 April 2017 and covers the mainland airports of Thessaloniki, Aktion and Kavala, as well as airports on the islands of Crete (Chania), Kefalonia, Corfu, Kos, Mykonos, Mytilini, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos.
Since March 2013, the airport has served as a base for low-cost airline Ryanair. In April 2018, the Irish airline announced that it would close the base on 1 June. The reason given was that the airport charges were too high.