Cairo International Airport
|Cairo International Airport
مطار القاهرة الدولي
|IATA: CAI – ICAO: HECA
|Operator||Cairo Airport Company|
|Hub for||Air Cairo
AlMasria Universal Airlines
|Elevation AMSL||382 ft / 116 m|
Cairo International Airport (IATA: CAI, ICAO: HECA) (Arabic: مطار القاهرة الدولي Maṭār al-Qāhirah al-Duwaliyy) is the busiest airport in Egypt and the primary hub for EgyptAir, a member of the Star Alliance. The airport is located to the northeast of the city around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the business area of the city and has an area of approximately 37 square kilometres (9,100 acres).
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.
Cairo International is the second busiest airport in Africa after OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Over 45 passenger airlines use Cairo airport (including charter airlines) and 9 cargo airlines. EgyptAir is the largest operator at the airport, holding 61 percent of the departure slots in 2009.
In 2012, the airport served 14.7 million passengers (+13.0% vs. 2011) and handled just under 143,300 aircraft movements (+10.1% vs. 2011).
The airport has four terminals, with the third (and largest) opening on 27 April 2009 and the Seasonal Flights Terminal opening on 20 September 2011. Terminal 2 was closed in April 2010 for major renovation works to the building's structure and facilities. A third parallel runway replaced the crossing runway in 2010. Runway 05L/23R is 3,300 metres (10,800 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 approximately 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). A new cargo terminal is also under construction.
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 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 Field, 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 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 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 however 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 also inaugurated the "Airport City Concept," to provide an array of services and entertainment facilities to travellers, 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 International Arrival Hall 3.
As of 2009 the façade 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 a number of 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 Middle East.
Smart Aviation Company has been based at the building since 2007 however it moved to a new executive FBO in 2010 located adjacent to Hall 4.
Terminal 2 (closed for renovations)
Terminal 2 was inaugurated in 1986 with 7 boarding gates. It primarily served European, Gulf and Far Eastern airlines. The terminal was closed in April 2010 for complete renovations which will start in 2012 and last 36 months. The architecture of the terminal 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 will increase the terminal capacity from 3 to 7.5 million passengers annually. The entire terminal's "look & feel" will improve dramatically once the renovation works are completed. The upgrade shall include the complete modernization of the 20 year old facility to reach the same level of service as the new Terminal 3. Once completed, the renovated terminal will be operated jointly with Terminal 3 as one integrated terminal, thus, reinforcing the role of Cairo International Airport as a regional hub.
The renovated terminal is scheduled for reopening in 2015 and will double the capacity of T2 to around 7.5 million passengers and double the number of gates from 7 to 14 (and an additional 5 remote stands). Upon completion the terminal will raise the airports passenger capacity to 24 million.
The terminal will include larger and more modern retail areas and will also include Airbus A380 gates. Upon completion in 2015 the passengers can expect a highly modern terminal offering international standard service levels and more passenger conveniences, including large retail areas and lounges.
In August 2011, Turkey's Limak Holding won the tender for modernizing the terminal.
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 (6m international & 5m domestic) once the first phase is completed. It is located 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 1 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 currently 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 & 10 CUSS kiosks), 76 emigration and immigration counters (plus 5 biometric gates), 52 contact & 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 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. The purpose of the Terminal is to ease operational strains on the existing Terminals during pilgrim seasons. 
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:
- A luxury 350-room five-star Le Méridien hotel is to be built in front the new Terminal 3 with an opening date set for 1 December 2012. The hotel will be linked to the terminal by a 230-metre-long (750 ft) skyway that is also equipped with a moving walkway. The hotel and associated facilities will cost $91 million.[dated info]
- Construction of a multi-storey car park located near Terminal 2 for completion in June 2011.[dated info]
- Construction of an automated people mover (APM). The main station will be located between Terminals 2 and 3 and will become an integral part of the bridge connecting the two terminals. The 1.8-kilometre (1.1 mi) track is expected to go into operation by mid-2011 and will link Terminal 1, the AirMall, the multi-storey car park and Terminals 2 and 3.[dated info]
- Continued upgrade of the land-side façade of Terminal 1.
- Renovation and expansion of Terminal 2.
- The Cairo Cargo City (CCC) will provide state of the art facilities to support the growth in cargo traffic through the airport.
- Expanding the 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 2019.
- 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
The following is a list of airlines serving the airport as of June 2013:
^1 : These flights make a stop en route to the listed destination (either in one direction or both). However the airlines do not have the right to transport passengers between Cairo and the en route stops.
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.
Current Price List
|Destinations in Cairo||A (Luxury)||B (Micro Bus)||C (Midsize)||D (London Cab)|
|Airport (terminals, hotels)||EGP 65||EGP 45||EGP 45||EGP 50|
|Heliopolis||EGP 110||EGP 70||EGP 60||EGP 85|
|Nasr City||EGP 110||EGP 70||EGP 65||EGP 85|
|Gisr El Suez, Roxy||EGP 120||EGP 85||EGP 65||EGP 95|
|City Centre||EGP 155||EGP 100||EGP 80||EGP 125|
|Mohandesin, Zamalek, Dokki||EGP 165||EGP 110||EGP 90||EGP 135|
|Giza, Maadi, Makatam||EGP 200||EGP 120||EGP 100||EGP 155|
|New Cairo||EGP 200||EGP 120||EGP 110||EGP 100|
|Helwan, Sakkara||EGP 260||EGP 180||EGP 150||EGP 175|
|6th of October City||EGP 350||EGP 190||EGP 160||EGP 290|
|Sādāt City||EGP 470||EGP 240||EGP 230||EGP 375|
Tourists are often targeted by free taxi drivers in the arrival hall. The old black and white taxis usually do not have a meter and prices are negotiated before travelling. The newer white taxis have meters. The price list for a category C limousine should give an idea of the upper limit for acceptable fares.
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 5.
The new home of Egypt Air at Terminal 3 (2010)
Egypt Air planes at their new hub.(2010)
Obelisk of Ramesses II
Accidents and incidents
- On 20 February 1956, a "Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux" Douglas DC-6B on a scheduled Saigon-Karachi-Cairo-Paris flight crashed on approach to 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 May 20, 1965, PIA Flight 705, a Boeing 720–040B, crashed on approach to Runway 34, killing 121.
- On 18 March 1966, 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 September 6, 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.
- On October 31, 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767-300ER flying between New York City and Cairo, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, killing all 217 passengers and crew on board. The relief first officer of the flight, Gameel Al-Batouti, was suspected by U.S. authorities of committing suicide and intentionally crashing the aircraft. Egyptian officials have strongly disputed that claim.
- On January 3, 2004, Flash Airlines Flight 604, a Boeing 737-300 en route to Cairo from Sharm el-Sheikh on its way to Paris, crashed into the Red Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 148 people on board.
- 2011 - 2nd Best Airport in Africa of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International
- "Fraport AG Wins Management Contract for Cairo Airport in Egypt". 2004-12-20. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- Cairo Airport New Runway
- "Airport History". Cairo International Airport. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Timetables". FlyGeorgia. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- RAK schedule
- Emirates SkyCargo Schedule
- Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Schedule
- TMA Cargo Scheduled Destinations
- Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule
- Cairo Airport Company (2010): "Limousine Information". Official Brochure
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
- "SU-AJG Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- "The Most Improved Airports". 1 October 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "ASQ Award for Best Airport in Africa" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13
- Official Cairo Airport website
- Cairo Airport: unofficial information website
- FlightAware Live Flight Tracking