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Cairo International Airport
Mar El Qhira El Dawly
|Operator||Cairo Airport Company|
|Elevation AMSL||382 ft / 116 m|
Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) (Arabic: ; Mar El Qhira El Dawly) is the international airport of Cairo and the busiest airport in Egypt and serves as the primary hub for EgyptAir, EgyptAir Express and Nile Air as well as several other airlines. The airport is located in Heliopolis, to the northeast of the Cairo around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the business area of the city and has an area of approximately 37 square kilometres (14 sq mi). It is the second busiest airport in Africa after OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces built Payne Airfield to serve the Allied Forces, rather than take over the existing Almaza Airport located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away. Payne Field was a major Air Transport Command air cargo and passenger hub, connecting westwards through Benghazi Airport (during the war known as Soluch Airfield) to Algiers airport on the North African route to Dakar Airport, in French West Africa.
Other locations which transport routes were flown were RAF Habbaniya, Iraq on the Cairo Karachi, India route; Lydda Airport, BritishPalestine; Jeddah, Arabia, on the Central African route to Roberts Field, Liberia (19411943), and later after the war ended, Athens, Greece and on to destinations in Europe.
When American forces left the base at the end of the war, the Civil Aviation Authority took over the facility and began using it for international civil aviation. In 1963, Cairo International Airport replaced the old Heliopolis Airport, which had been located at the Hike-Step area in the east of Cairo.
The airport is administered by the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation, which controls the Cairo Airport Company, the Egyptian Airports Company, National Air Navigation Services and Aviation Information Technology, and the Cairo Airport Authority. In 2004, Fraport AG won the management contract to run the airport for eight years, with options to extend the contract twice in one year increments.
The terminal facilities include Departure Hall 1, International Hall 3, and Hall 4 for private and non-commercial aircraft services. As part of the recent upgrading and facility improvement scheme, the CAA demolished the old Hall 3, previously used for domestic arrivals and departures, to reconstruct a new hall to be used for international arrivals. Terminal 1 is locally known as the "Old Airport," although its facilities were recently given a complete overhaul and are newer than those of Terminal 2, which is still known as the "New Airport."
Terminal 1 was originally used by EgyptAir and several Middle Eastern airlines. However, an increasing number of other foreign carriers, such as Air France and KLM transferred operations from Terminal 2 in 2006. In May 2009 EgyptAir moved all its operations to the new Terminal 3 (along with all Star Alliance airlines serving the airport). In March 2010, with the closure of Terminal 2 for major renovation works, all non-Star Alliance airlines serving the airport shifted operations to the terminal.
Departures and arrivals are with all airlines departing from Terminal 1 Hall 1, with the exception Saudia which is the sole tenant of Terminal 1 Hall 2 due to the size of their operations (SV accounted for 65% of Terminal 2's traffic in 2009). Most international airlines arrive in Hall 3. Arrival Hall 2 was recently reopened and serves international and domestic arrivals.
The CAC has inaugurated the "Airport City Concept" to provide an array of services and entertainment facilities to travelers, airport visitors, as well as the general public. The first phase, a new shopping mall called the 'AirMall,' has been built near Terminal 1's International Arrival Hall 3.
As of 2009 the facade of the terminal was being upgraded. A study on reorganizing the departure and arrival halls is ongoing as well as the feasibility study to include contact stands to improve the service and comfort levels to the passengers. Terminal 1 has 12 gates.
Terminal 1, Hall 4 is dedicated to private and executive jet services. Even though it is referred to as a 'Hall' under Terminal 1 it is operated independently from the commercial passenger terminal.
Smart Aviation Company has been based at the building since 2007; it moved to a new executive FBO in 2010 adjacent to Hall 4.
Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1986 with 7 boarding gates. It primarily served European, Gulf and East Asian airlines. The terminal was closed in April 2010 for complete renovations starting in 2012 and lasting 36 months. The architecture of the building limited the opportunities for further expansion which necessitated the entire building to be closed for major structural overhaul at an estimated cost of approximately $400 million.
In February 2010 the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a loan amount of $387 million to support the Cairo Airport Development Project (CADP) to overhaul the terminal with national banks providing the rest. The project aimed at increasing the terminal capacity from 3 million to 7.5 million passengers annually. The upgrade included the complete modernisation of the 20-year-old facility to reach the same level of service as the new Terminal 3. In August 2011, Turkey's Limak Holding won the tender for modernising the terminal.
After several project delays, the renovated terminal had its soft opening on 28 September 2016 with a capacity of 7.5 million passengers bringing the airport's total passenger capacity to 30 million passengers annually. The new terminal has 14 gates and an additional 5 remote stands.
During February 2017, Saudi Arabian Airlines launched its first international "Al-Fursan lounge" at Cairo International Airport Terminal 2. The 1,500 square-meter lounge can accommodate 300 people at a time.
The renovated terminal is operating jointly with Terminal 3 as one integrated terminal via an air bridge, thus, reinforcing the role of Cairo International Airport as a regional hub.
Given projected growth, and the limited ability to expand Terminal 2, the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation began construction of Terminal 3 in 2004. The terminal was officially inaugurated by the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on 18 December 2008 and opened for commercial operations on 27 April 2009. The facility is twice as large as the current two terminal buildings combined, with the capacity to handle 11 million passengers annually (6 million international and 5 million domestic) once the first phase is completed. It is adjacent to Terminal 2, and the two terminals are initially connected by a bridge.
With its hub at the airport, EgyptAir's operations were overhauled with the full transfer of its operations (international and domestic) into the new terminal between 27 April and 15 June 2009. To implement the Star Alliance "Move Under One Roof" concept, all Alliance members serving the airport were relocated to the terminal by the first of August 2009.
The new terminal includes:
On 20 September 2011 Prime Minister Sharaf inaugurated the new Seasonal Flights Terminal (ST), located west of Terminal 3. During the start-up phase EgyptAir operates its daily flight to Medina from the new Terminal. All Hajj traffic of EgyptAir will move to the ST while Saudia's Hajj flights will still operate from Terminal 1. More destinations might be added during winter.
The terminal has an annual capacity of 3.2 million passengers with 27 check-in counters and 7 gates with a common gate and single security concept, the first in Cairo. It is designed to handle 1,200 passengers per hour. Passengers will be bussed to remote aircraft stands around Terminal 3. Its purpose is to ease operational strains on the existing terminals during pilgrim seasons.
The airport has four terminals, the third (and largest) opened on 27 April 2009 and the Seasonal Flights Terminal opened on 20 September 2011. Terminal 2 was closed in April 2010 for major renovation works and was reopened on 28 September 2016. A third parallel runway replaced the crossing runway in 2010. Runway 05L/23R is 3,301 metres (10,830 ft) long, 05C/23C has a length of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), and the new runway is designated as 05R/23L and is 3,999 metres (13,120 ft).
The MiniMetro people mover links Terminal 1, the AirMall, the multi-storey car park and Terminals 2 and 3. The main station is located between Terminals 2 and 3 and is an integral part of the bridge connecting the two terminals. An air-cushioned 1.85 km (1.15 mi) system with top speed 50 km/h (31 mph) was designed and constructed by Leitner-Poma.
A luxury 350-room five-star Le Méridien hotel opened in front of Terminal 3 in December 2013. The hotel is linked to the terminal by a 230-metre-long (750 ft) skyway that is also equipped with a moving walkway.
With the national carrier, EgyptAir, and the Egyptian authorities planning to develop the airport as a hub for the Middle East and Africa, the airport facilities are in constant development.
Several projects are underway, including:
|Air Arabia||Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah|
|Air Cairo||Aqaba, Aswan, Hurghada, Jeddah, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, Yanbu|
|Air France||ParisCharles de Gaulle|
|Air Sinai||Tel Aviv|
|Alitalia|| RomeFiumicino |
|AlMasria Universal Airlines|| Jeddah, Kuwait, Yanbu|
Seasonal: Aswan, Bergamo, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh
|Asiana Airlines||Seasonal charter: SeoulIncheon (begins 6 December 2019)|
|Azerbaijan Airlines||Seasonal charter: Baku|
|Bulgarian Air Charter||Seasonal charter: Sofia|
|Cairo Aviation||Jeddah, Yanbu|
|Cyprus Airways||Larnaca (begins 2 April 2020)|
|EgyptAir|| Abha, Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, AlexandriaBorg el Arab, Algiers, AmmanQueen Alia, Amsterdam, Asmara, Assiut, Aswan, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, BangkokSuvarnabhumi, Barcelona, BeijingCapital, Beirut, BerlinSchönefeld, Brussels, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Dammam, Dar es Salaam, Douala, DubaiInternational, Entebbe, Erbil, Frankfurt, Gassim, Geneva, Guangzhou, Hangzhou (begins 29 November 2019), Hong Kong, Hurghada, Istanbul, Jeddah, JohannesburgOR Tambo, Juba, Kano, Khartoum, Kigali, Kuwait, Lagos, Larnaca, LondonHeathrow, Luxor, Madrid, Medina, MilanMalpensa, MoscowDomodedovo, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, NairobiJomo Kenyatta, N'Djamena, New YorkJFK, ParisCharles de Gaulle, Riyadh, RomeFiumicino, Sharjah, Sharm El Sheikh, TokyoNarita, TorontoPearson, Tunis, Vienna, WashingtonDulles |
Seasonal charter: OsakaKansai (resumes 16 December 2019)
|EgyptAir Express||Abu Simbel, AlexandriaBorg el Arab, Assiut, Aswan, Athens, Budapest, Hurghada, Larnaca, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Sharm El Sheikh, Sohag|
|Eritrean Airlines||Asmara, Khartoum, MilanMalpensa|
|Ethiopian Airlines||Addis Ababa|
|Etihad Airways||Abu Dhabi|
|FlyEgypt|| Yanbu (begins 18 November 2019) |
Seasonal: Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh
|Flynas||Abha, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh|
|Iberia||Madrid (resumes 2 March 2020)|
|Iraqi Airways||Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Sulaimaniyah|
|Jordan Aviation||AmmanQueen Alia|
|Korean Air||Seasonal charter: Seoul-Incheon|
|Middle East Airlines||Beirut|
|Nesma Airlines||Abha, Gassim, Jeddah, Tabuk, Ta'if, Yanbu|
|Nile Air||Abha, Al Ain, Al-Jawf, Aswan, Baghdad, Basra, Gassim, Ha'il, Hofuf, Hurghada, IstanbulSabiha Gökçen, Jeddah, Jizan, Kuwait, Luxor, Port Sudan, Sharm El Sheikh, Tabuk, Ta'if, Yanbu|
|Petroleum Air Services|| Charter: Abu Rudeis, Aswan, El Kharga, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh |
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Aqaba, Paphos
|Royal Air Maroc||Casablanca|
|Royal Jordanian||AmmanQueen Alia|
|Saudia||Abha, Dammam, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh|
|Swiss International Air Lines||Zürich|
|Ukraine International Airlines||KievBoryspil|
|Air France Cargo||Bangui, ParisCharles de Gaulle, N'Djamena, Reunion|
|DHL International Aviation ME||Bahrain|
|EgyptAir Cargo||Cologne/Bonn, IstanbulAtatürk, MilanMalpensa, Ostend/Bruges, Sharjah|
|Emirates SkyCargo||DubaiAl Maktoum, Frankfurt|
|Ethiopian Airlines Cargo||Addis Ababa, Beirut, Ličge|
|Lufthansa Cargo||Frankfurt, Hong Kong, MilanMalpensa, Sharjah|
|Royal Jordanian Cargo||AmmanQueen Alia, Maastricht/Aachen|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||IstanbulAtatürk|
There are several ways to leave Cairo airport upon arrival. The most convenient way is by one of the numerous "limousine services". Pick-up points are in front of the terminals (curb side). The prices are fixed depending on the destination and the car category, but different providers may charge wildly different prices. Category A are luxury limousines (e.g. Mercedes-Benz E-Class), Category B are Micro Buses for up to seven passengers, Category C are midsized cars (e.g. Mitsubishi Lancer) and new Category D are London Taxis.
Public buses leave outside terminal 1 and connect frequently to transportation hubs like Abbasia and Tahrir Square but can be confusing for visitors and are not suitable for persons carrying large pieces of baggage. Line 3 of the Cairo Metro will connect the airport to Heliopolis, Central Cairo and Giza in the future. Intercity buses leave from the bus station located in between the terminals.
The old black and white taxis usually do not have a meter and prices are negotiated before travelling while the newer white taxis have meters, but will generally refuse to use it when leaving from the airport and charge significantly more.
The airport can be reached via Oroba Road from Heliopolis or via the new road, connection Terminal 3 with the intersection between Ring Road and Suez Road. The toll for driving to the airport is EGP 15.
Media related to Cairo International Airport at Wikimedia Commons