Athens International Airport - Pick up - Drop off Zone

The access for vehicles in front of the Departures and Arrivals areas (passenger drop-off and pick-up points, respectively) is changing to ensure that everyone can welcome and say goodbye to travellers with ease and safety! Specifically, controlled access points with retractable barriers have been installed on the road accesses in front of the Main Terminal Building, both in Departures and Arrivals, through which all vehicles will pass to drop off and pick up travellers.

  • Why did this need arise?

Since 2019, congestion issues arose in front of the Main Terminal Building due to non-compliance with regulations by cars that remained in the areas designated exclusively for passenger drop-off/pick-up for extended periods. The installation of controlled access points aims to prevent congestion and illegal parking, which created an unpleasant experience in those areas. Taking into account users’ feedback regarding the negative experience, the Departures and Arrivals areas have been reconfigured to allow everyone a 10-minute free stay to say goodbye or welcome their travellers comfortably and safely, as is the case in most European and international airports.

  • What changes in the process? Will there be a charge?

Drivers will have 10 minutes of free stay and up to 2 passages per day at the passenger drop-off and pick-up points, in Arrivals and Departures, respectively, to pick up and drop off travelers. According to studies, this time is considered sufficient and equivalent to the time available in many European airports.

After the initial 10 minutes, there will be a charge for additional stay of the vehicles. The process is simple and applies to both the drop-off area in Departures and the pick-up area in Arrivals:

  1. Stop in front of the barrier.
  2. The camera reads the front license plate of the car while you press the ticket issuance button and receive the ticket.
  3. The barrier opens, and you enter the controlled access area.
  4. Park in specially designated short-stay spaces on the right or left side of the road and enjoy a 10-minute FREE stay to say goodbye or welcome your traveller.
  5. Then proceed to the exit and stop at the barriers.
  6. Scan your ticket at the machine, and if your stay is within 10 minutes, the barrier will open, and you can leave without being charged.

If you stay in the controlled access area for more than 10 minutes, a corresponding charge will apply:
Additional 10 minutes: €5 (after the first 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes, a €5 charge applies).
After 20 minutes: €1 per minute. 
Payment can be made at the machine using cash or card.
The maximum duration of stay in the area cannot exceed 60 minutes.For vehicles exceeding 1 hour of stay, removal from the area by crane should be anticipated.

Note that the aforementioned areas are subject to applicable laws and regulations. In case the driver does not pay for exceeding the free time limit, they will receive a payment notice from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

  • Where does this process aim?

The goal of this new process is not to charge and burden users - on the contrary, the simple procedure aims at the quick adaptation of drivers to a more functional and fair use of the spaces.

Proper road behavior and safety are the key ingredients of the intervention’s logic, and in this context, any amounts that may arise from drivers' non-compliance and exceeding the free time limit will be allocated by the Athens International Airport (AIA) for the design, support, and implementation of programs by the “Panos Mylonas” Institute of Road Safety.

By examining and evaluating international experience, addressing traffic issues with similar systems is a widespread and successful practice in most major European airports, which have achieved high rates of driver compliance in a short period of time, resulting in the decongestion of vehicle passage areas.

Special provisions will apply to travelers with reduced mobility and increased needs.

At the same time, the provision of free parking time in the Short-Term Parking Areas 1 & 2 for 20 minutes will continue to apply to everyone.

During the familiarization and adjustment period to this new practice and experience, which we are confident will improve the experience of drivers and travellers, the airport will be, as always, available to the public, both through guidance at service points and through all communication channels of the AIA, which provide all relevant helpful information.

Watch the explanatory Video here!