The airport of Heraklio was constructed in 1937, 4km away from Heraklion city, and the first small planes started landing.
In the beginning was a large levelled field and the first landed plane, which transferred passengers, was a JUNKERS-52 type, with a capacity of 14 passengers and belonged to the Greek Air Transport Association. That was in the summer of 1939. In the autumn of 1946 the air transport resumed, with airplanes of DC - 3 type (Dakotas), after being cut off in 1941 because of war.
The airport had a substandard means of handling aircrafts and passengers. There were three tents, out of which the one was used by the Administration, the other one housed the offices of airlines and the third was passengers’ waiting room. For runway lighting were used storm- lights and the determination of the direction and intensity of wind, for the landing aircraft, was up to the smoke from dried grass, that smoke had the role of a wind cone. In 1947 a small building constructed for housing the facilities, as also a small passengers’ room.
In 1948 ELLAS (airline company) began flights from/to Heraklio Airport. A total number of 4000 passengers handled in that year. In 1953 was built the runway 09-27 with an initial length of 1850 meters.
In 1954 for first time a four-engine jet plane, belonging to TAE Airlines, DC-4 type, with a capacity of 64 passengers landed here. Using this type of aircraft has led to rapid growth in air traffic, which reached 18,000 passengers that year.
After 1957, when the new airline Olympic Airways used aircrafts of DC-68 type of 95 seats, passengers’ traffic increased continuously between Heraklion - Athens.
The present Heraklion Airport has been operating in a new building since 1971. Since then various projects have been carried out to extend the building and runs in order to meet the needs of growing air traffic.
The Heraklion International Airport operates on 24/7 basis throughout the year.