Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) (Arabic: مطار
القاهرة الدولي; Maṭār El Qāhira El Dawly) is the
international airport of
Cairo and the busiest 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
OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
2.1 Terminal 1
2.1.1 Hall 4
2.2 Terminal 2
2.3 Terminal 3
2.4 Seasonal flight terminal
3.1.1 Terminal Transfer
3.1.2 Airport Hotel
3.2 Future developments
4 Airlines and destinations
5 Ground transport
5.1 Limousines and shuttle buses
5.2 Public transport
6 Accidents and incidents
8 See also
10 External links
During World War II, the
United States Army Air Forces
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, British
Palestine; Jeddah, Arabia, on the Central African route to Roberts
Liberia (1941–1943), 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
Fraport AG won the management contract to run the airport for
eight years, with options to extend the contract twice in one year
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."
Departures area at Terminal 1
Terminal 1 was originally used by
EgyptAir and several Middle Eastern
airlines. However, an increasing number of other foreign carriers,
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. It has
proven to be one of the most successful general aviation halls in the
Smart Aviation Company
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
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
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
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 guests
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.
Egypt Tourism' Livery at Cairo
International Airport (June 2016)
Given projected growth, and the limited ability to expand Terminal 2,
Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation
Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation began construction of Terminal
3 in 2004. The terminal was officially inaugurated by the former
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 state-of-the-art 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:
Two piers of extendable capacity and gates facilities serving domestic
and international traffic on contact and remote stands. The main
building and the piers are connected by concourses. Two of the gates
are equipped to handle Airbus A380 aircraft. Provisions for a third
pier are in the planning stages.
Terminal 3 has 23 gates (2 gates for the A380), 6 check-in islands
consisting of 110 check-in counters (plus 10 mobile counters and 10
CUSS kiosks), 76 immigration counters (plus 5 biometric gates), 52
contact and remote aircraft parking stands (5 with multiple use), 425
FIDS, 15 public information points, 7 baggage carousels, 63 elevators,
50 moving walkways and 51 escalators.
Retails space covers more than 5,000m2 (4.034m2 occupied by EgyptAir
Tourism & Duty Free Shops).
International food court with Oriental, Asian and Western food (incl.
Burger King, Hippopotamus, Upper Crust).
Land side roads including bridges and fly-over serving the traffic to
and from the terminal building, surface car park areas (multi-story
parking garage capable of holding more than 3,000 cars), a new access
road connecting the airport with the Autostrad road (
Cairo ring road)
and upgrading the access roads.
Seasonal flight terminal
On 20 September 2011 Prime Minister Sharaf inaugurated the new
Seasonal Flights Terminal (ST), located west of Terminal 3. During the
EgyptAir operates its daily flight to Medina from the
new Terminal. All
Hajj traffic of
EgyptAir will move to the ST while
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.
EgyptAir Airbus A321-231 and
Boeing 777-300ER at
EgyptAir Express Embraer 170 at
Cairo International Airport
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).
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. The hotel has 5 different dining venues, a fitness
center, massage rooms, swimming pool, gift store, and more.
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:
Construction of a multi-storey car park located near Terminal 3.
Continued upgrade of the land-side façade of Terminal 1.
Cairo Cargo City (CCC) will provide state of the art facilities to
support the growth in cargo traffic through the airport.
Cairo Metro to serve the airport. The new line, Line 3,
which is in an advanced stage of execution, will link Greater Cairo
from east to west with the airport at one end, and Mohandessin
district at the other. It is expected to be fully operational by
Development of real estate and the 'Oasis Project' which entails a
business park with company headquarters and regional offices.
Construction of 'Aerocity', a family leisure park to be built within
the airport's investment zone. With an area of 3 square kilometres
(1.2 sq mi), the enterprise should cost 1 billion Egyptian
pounds (US$183 million) and will be carried out in two phases. The
first phase will consist of the building of a business centre, and the
second, of an entertainment park following the guidelines of Disney
World, in the United States. There will also be parks, artificial
lake, game courts, a water park, 18 cinemas and several restaurants.
This will be a new feature of
Cairo Airport and forms part of the
long-term development and modernization plan.
Airlines and destinations
Moscow-Sheremetyevo (resumes 11 April 2018)
Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah
Hofuf, Jeddah, Yanbu
Charter: Beijing–Capital, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Nanchang,
Shanghai–Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Xi'an
Charter: Alexandria–Borg el Arab, Aqaba, Luxor
AlMasria Universal Airlines
Aswan, Bergamo, Hurghada, Jeddah, Kuwait, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh,
Bulgarian Air Charter
Seasonal charter: Sofia
Abha, Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria–Borg
el Arab, Algiers, Amman–Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Asmara, Assiut,
Aswan, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona,
Beijing–Capital, Beirut, Berlin–Schönefeld, Brussels, Casablanca,
Copenhagen, Dammam, Dar es Salaam, Dubai–International, Entebbe,
Erbil (resumes 13 April 2018), Frankfurt, Gassim, Geneva,
Guangzhou, Hurghada, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jeddah, Johannesburg–OR
Tambo, Juba, Kano, Khartoum, Kuwait, Lagos, London–Heathrow, Luxor,
Madrid, Medina, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo (resumes 12 April
2018), Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, N'Djamena,
New York–JFK, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino,
Sharjah, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Tunis,
operated by Air Sinai
Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Abu Simbel, Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Aswan, Athens, Budapest,
Hurghada, Larnaca, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sohag
Seasonal: El Alamein, Mersa Matruh
Asmara, Khartoum, Milan–Malpensa
Abha, Jeddah, Riyadh
Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Sulaimaniyah
Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Alia[better source needed][better source needed]
Middle East Airlines
Abha, Jeddah, Qassim, Tabuk, Ta'if, Yanbu
Abha, Al Ain, Al-Jawf, Aswan, Baghdad, Basra, Buraidah, Ha'il, Hofuf,
Hurghada, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Jeddah, Jizan, Kuwait, Luxor,
Port Sudan, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tabuk, Ta'if, Yanbu
Petroleum Air Services
Charter: El Kharga, Hurghada, Luxor, Port Said, Ras Shokeir, Sharm
el-Sheikh, Sharq Al-Owainat, Antalya, Basra, Mykonos, Paphos
Royal Air Maroc
Abha, Dammam, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh
Khartoum, Port Sudan
Swiss International Air Lines
Ukraine International Airlines
Kiev-Boryspil (begins 6 April 2018)
Air France Cargo
Bangui, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, N'Djamena, Reunion
DHL International Aviation ME
Beirut, Cologne/Bonn, Istanbul-Atatürk, Milan-Malpensa, N'Djamena,
Dubai-Al Maktoum, Frankfurt
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo
Addis Ababa, Beirut, Liège
Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Milan-Malpensa, Sharjah
Royal Jordanian Cargo
Amman-Queen Alia, Maastricht/Aachen
Turkish Airlines Cargo
Limousines and shuttle buses
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.
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
Giza in the future.
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.
Accidents and incidents
On 20 February 1956, a "Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux" Douglas
DC-6B on a scheduled Saigon-Karachi-Cairo-Paris flight crashed on
Cairo airport. 52 of the 63 people on board were killed.
On 19 March 1965,
Vickers Viscount YI-ACU of
Iraqi Airways was damaged
beyond economic repair when it ran into a number of lamp standards
after a hydraulic system failure.
On 20 May 1965, PIA Flight 705, a Boeing 720–040B, crashed on
Runway 34, killing 121.
On 18 March 1966,
United Arab Airlines Flight 749
United Arab Airlines Flight 749 crashed while
attempting to land at
Cairo International Airport. All 30 passengers
and crew on board were killed.
On 15 January 1968,
Douglas DC-3 SU-AJG of United Arab Airlines
departed on an international scheduled cargo flight to Beirut
International Airport, Lebanon when the crew decided to return due to
icing. The aircraft subsequently broke up in mid-air and crashed at
Zifta, killing all four people on board. The cargo shifting in flight
and the aircraft being 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) overloaded may
have contributed to the accident.
On 6 September 1970, Pan Am Flight 93, which was flying to New York
City from Amsterdam, was hijacked and landed in
Cairo after refueling
and picking up another hijacker in Beirut. The Boeing 747-100 was
blown up after everyone got out. The hijackers were arrested later.
2010, one of the three most improved airports by
Skytrax World Airport
2011 – 2nd Best Airport in Africa of the Airport Service Quality
Awards by Airports Council International
List of airports in Egypt
This article incorporates public domain material from the
Air Force Historical Research Agency
Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
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Media related to
Cairo International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
Live flight tracking at FlightAware
Aeronautical chart for HECA at SkyVector
Accident history for CAI at Aviation Safety Network
World War II
World War II portal
Airports in Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh
Alexandria-Borg El Arab
Sharq El Owainat
Sphinx International Airport