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Cairo International Airport, Egypt

July 7th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Cairo International Airport is the major civilian airport in Cairo, Egypt. It is the primary hub for EgyptAir. It is located to the northeast of Cairo, about 15 km from the downtown area. It is administered by the Cairo Airport Authority (CAA).

In 2006, the airport served 10,778,097 passengers (+5.5% vs. 2005). It is the second busiest airport in Africa, after Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was built in 1945. During World War II, the US built Payne Field Air Force Base to serve the Allied Forces, rather than take over the existing Almaza Airport, located 5 km away. 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 terminal facilities include Departure Hall 1, International Hall 3, and Hall 4 for Private & 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 commonly 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 is used by EgyptAir for its domestic and international flights. It is also used by El Al, several airlines from the Arab world, and an increasing number of other foreign carriers, such as Air France, which transferred operations from Terminal 2 in 2006.

The CAA has also 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 of this, a new shopping mall called the AirMall has been built near Terminal 1's New International Arrival Hall 3.

[edit] Terminal 2

Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1986. It serves primarily European and Far Eastern airlines, airlines from the Gulf region, and sub-Saharan Africa. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, all flights to the US and Canada, including those operated by EgyptAir, were transferred to Terminal 2. EgyptAir has since returned its North American services to Terminal 1 following the completion of renovations.

The arrival and departure halls are located side by side on the same level. There are duty free shops in the airport in the transit area and a cafeteria in the departure area. There is also a new restaurant that opened in 2005 in the small area separating the arrival and departure halls.

The architecture of the terminal building limits the possibility of expansion. There is significant congestion when more than 3 flights check in simultaneously, or more than 2 planes arrive at the same time. The terminal itself has 7 boarding gates. Capacity rarely reaches that maximum.

[edit] Terminal 3

Given projected growth, and the limited ability to expand Terminal 2, the CAA has begun construction of Terminal 3, which is currently scheduled to open in March 2008. It will be located adjacent to Terminal 2, and the two terminals will be connected by a bridge. Access roads will be redesigned, and the parking lots will be relocated.

The master plan includes:

* A 164,000 m2 three-level main building with mezzanines housing arrivals/departures halls, basement facilities, baggage handling, workshops, electro-mechanical area and retail outlets.

* Two piers of extendible capacity and gates facilities serving domestic and international traffic, handled through contact and remote. The main building and the piers are connected by concourses. Two of the gates will be equipped to handle the Airbus A380 aircraft.

* Land side works including bridges and fly-over serving the traffic to and from the terminal building, surface car park areas, a new access road connecting the airport with the Autostrad road|Autostrad (Cairo ring road) and upgrading the access road.

Upon completion of this terminal, Cairo International Airport will double its airport capacity, enabling it to provide passengers and airlines with state-of-the art services and facilities.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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