NSA Souda Bay, a military construction project has announced they are expanding the airfield to increase the support provided to aircrafts that transit throughout Europe, Africa and Central regions.
The airfield, which provides parking, refueling, passenger, and cargo handling services, is a vital piece of the air operations system.
The NSA Souda Bay airfield, located adjacent to the runway shared with the Hellenic Air Force’s 115th Combat Wing and Chania International Airport, has an apron with five parking spaces for large aircraft (i.e. KC-10 Extender, C-17 Globemaster III) and 10 for medium aircraft (i.e. C-130 Hercules, C-40A Clipper) to park and refuel.
This construction project will add four more large aircraft spaces and equip six existing medium aircraft spaces with in-ground fuel hydrant stations.
NSA Souda Bay operations officer, Commander Josh Jones stated that “Airfield capacity is critical because it directly impacts the level of support we can provide. If capacity drops we lose the flexibility to support multiple, high-priority missions.” Increasing airfield capacity provides combatant commands with more opportunities to use the installation for operational support, the commander added.
Bill Delano, NSA Souda Bay airfield manager, also stated that this project allows an aircraft to fuel continuously from a hydrant that might otherwise use three to five trucks of fuel, saves wear and tear on the trucks and makes them available for smaller aircraft that only require one fuel truck.
The airfield expansion project began in 2016 and is expected to be completed by February 2021.