Tripoli International Airport

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This article is about the airport in Tripoli, Libya. For the airport in Tripoli, Greece, see Tripolis Airport.
Tripoli International Airport
مطار طرابلس العالمي
Tripoli Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau
Serves Tripoli
Location Qasr bin Ghashir, Libya
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 263 ft / 80 m
Coordinates 32°40′10″N 013°09′24″E / 32.66944°N 13.15667°E / 32.66944; 13.15667Coordinates: 32°40′10″N 013°09′24″E / 32.66944°N 13.15667°E / 32.66944; 13.15667
TIP is located in Libya
Location within Libya
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 3,600 11,811 Asphalt/Concrete
18/36 2,235 7,333 Asphalt
Statistics (2008)
Passengers 3,070,200

Tripoli International Airport (IATA: TIPICAO: HLLT) (Arabic: مطار طرابلس العالمي) was an international airport built to serve the capital city of Libya. As part of the 2014 Libyan Civil War, it is currently occupied by two groups designated "terrorists" by the Libyan parliament, namely the Central Shield "Misrata Brigades" and the LROR. The airport was heavily damaged in the fighting and is not in use. Flights to/from Tripoli now use Mitiga International Airport.

The airport is located in the area of Qasr bin Ghashir 34 km from central Tripoli. The airport was a hub for Libyan Airlines, Afriqiyah Airways and Buraq Air. Transport to and from Tripoli city center is by road.


Originally the Tripoli International airport was called Castel Benito airport and was a Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) airfield created in 1934 in the southern outskirts of Italian Tripoli.[1] In 1938 the Italian Libya governor Italo Balbo enlarged the military airfield and created an international airport for civilians served by Ala Littoria, the official Italian airline: the Aeroporto di Tripoli-Castel Benito. The first international flights were done to Rome, Tunis and Malta. In 1939 was added a flight from Rome to Ethiopia and Somalia, that was one of the first intercontinenral flights in world history.

During World War II, the airfield was used by the British Royal Air Force and was named RAF Castel Benito later changing to RAF Idris in 1952. In the 1950s and 1960s the airport was named Tripoli Idris International Airport.[2][3] The airport was renovated for national and international air travel in September 1978.[4] The existing international terminal was designed and built from a masterplan developed by Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners.[5]

The airport closed from March 2011 to October 2011 as a result of United Nations Security Council establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Anti-Gaddafi forces captured the airport during their advance on Tripoli on 21 August 2011. The airport was officially reopened on 11 October 2011.[6] In April 2012, the Zintan Brigade officially handed the control of the airport to the Libyan government forces.[7]

On 14 July 2014, the airport was the site of fierce battle between rival militias. A government spokesman stated that approximately 90% of the planes stationed at the airport were destroyed or made inoperable in the attack. The airport was closed to flights due to the clashes.[8][9] On 23 August 2014, after 10 days of clashes, the airport finally fell to fighters from Libyan Central Shield, a coalition of Islamist and Misrata forces.[10][11] The Los Angeles Times reported that at least 90% of the airport's facilities, and 20 airplanes, were destroyed in the fighting.[12]


The airport's existing terminals and runways in a satellite image.

The airport has one main passenger terminal that serves international and domestic departures and arrivals. Check-in and arrival facilities for domestic flights are in the same building as the international terminal but in a different area. The terminal hall is a five-story building with an area of 33,000 square metres (360,000 sq ft), and is capable of handling three million passengers annually. Check-in facilities are all located on the ground floor. The departure gates are located on the floor above as is the duty-free section. Beside this is a prayer room and a first-class lounge which serves business class and above on almost all airlines operating from the airport.

The airport operates 24 hours a day. There is no overnight accommodation at the airport but there are plans to build an airport hotel to serve transit flyers. A restaurant can be found on the fourth floor of the international terminal.

The airport's Cargo-handling facilities include cranes, heavy fork lifts, roller pallet lifts and conveyor belts. There is twenty-four-hour fire protection at the airport with 112 trained personnel working at the fire station.

The head office of the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority is on the airport property.[13]

New terminals[edit]

Construction of the first of two new terminals.

In September 2007, the Libyan government announced a project to upgrade and expand the airport. The eventual total cost of the project, contracted to a joint venture between Brazil's Odebrecht, TAV Construction of Turkey, Consolidated Contractors Company of Greece and Vinci Construction of France, is LD2.54 billion ($2.1 billion).[14] The project is to construct two new terminals at the airport (an East Terminal and a West Terminal) on either side of the existing International Terminal. Each of the new terminals will be 162,000 square metres (1,740,000 sq ft) in size, and collectively they will have a capacity of 20 million passengers and a parking lot for 4,400 vehicles. French company Aéroports de Paris designed the terminals, which are expected to serve 100 aircraft simultaneously.[15] Work started in October 2007 on the first new terminal. The initial capacity will be 6 million passengers when the first module comes into operation.[16] Preparation is also underway for the second new terminal, which will eventually bring the total capacity to 20 million passengers; the completed airport is expected to strengthen Libya's position as an African aviation hub.[14] Although the government identified Tripoli airport as a "fast track" project in 2007, leading to construction work starting before the design was fully developed, the project will not be finished until at least May 2011. The cost of the project has also been rising, leading to an intense round of renegotiations.[17]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

As of 1 August 2014 the airport was closed to all flights due to fighting.[18]


Airlines Destinations
Afriqiyah Airways Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Amman-Queen Alia, Benghazi, Cairo, Casablanca, Düsseldorf, Istanbul-Atatürk, Khartoum, London-Gatwick, Monastir,[19]Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Sebha, Tunis (all suspended)
Seasonal: Jeddah[20] (suspended)
Air Algerie Algiers (suspended)
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino[21] (suspended)
British Airways London-Heathrow (suspended)
Buraq Air Bayda, Benghazi, Istanbul-Atatürk, Rabat, Sebha, Tobruk, Tunis, Sfax (all suspended)
EgyptAir Cairo (suspended)
Libyan Airlines Alexandria-Borg el Arab, Algiers, Amman-Queen Alia, Bayda, Benghazi, Cairo, Casablanca, Djerba, Ghadames, Ghat, Istanbul-Atatürk, Kufra, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Malta, Manchester, Sebha, Sfax, Sirte, Tobruk, Tunis, Ubari (all suspended)
Seasonal: Jeddah, Medina (all suspended)
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca (suspended)
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia (suspended)
Syphax Airlines Djerba, Monastir, Sfax (all suspended)
Tunisair Tunis, Sfax (all suspended)
operated by TunisAir Express
Monastir, Sfax (all suspended)
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk (suspended)


A Libyan Airlines jet at Tripoli
Airlines Destinations
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum,[22] Frankfurt, Mexico City (all suspended)
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Milan-Malpensa (all suspended)
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha (suspended)
Royal Jordanian Cargo Vienna (suspended)
TMA Cargo Amsterdam, Beirut, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riyadh, Sharjah (all suspended)
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk, Tunis (all suspended)

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Photo of the Tripoli-Castel Benito airport with a SM-74
  2. ^ [1]. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  3. ^ [2]. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Tripoli International Airport". LYCAA. Retrieved 1 November 2006.
  5. ^ [dead link] [3]. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Libya's NTC fighters stage final advance in Sirte holdout -". CNN. 12 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Libyan government takes control of Tripoli airport". USAToday. 20 April 2012. 
  8. ^ New rocket attack on Tripoli airport BBC News. 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ 90% of aircraft destroyed at Tripoli airport, Libya may seek international assistance RT. 15 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Tripoli airport 'seized by Islamist militia'". Al Jazeera. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Chris Stephen and Anne Penketh (24 August 2014). "Libyan capital under Islamist control after Tripoli airport seized". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Muhamed Juma, Amro Hassan (24 August 2014). "Islamist militias seize main Libya airport as conflict deepens". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Contact" (Archive). Libyan Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 30 August 2014. "مطار طرابلس الدولي - طريق المطار - طرابلس - ليبيا" ("Tripoli International Airport - Airport Road - Tripoli - Libya")
  14. ^ a b (20 May 2008). Endres, Gunter (20 May 2008). "Libya To Restructure Air Transport Sector". Retrieved 30 May 2008.
  15. ^ [dead link] "TAV To Build International Airport at Libya's Capital". Turkish Daily News. 22 August 2007.
  16. ^ [clarification needed] Flying Away, (12 February 2008)"وضع حجر الأساس لصالة ركاب مطار طرابلس العالمي الجديد " (in Arabic). Retrieved 2 March 2008.
  17. ^ (27 August 2009). "Tripoli Makes Up for Lost Time in Construction Sector". MEED (from BDP Project Logistics). Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  18. ^ Libya Herald, International airlines unsure about dates for resuming Libya flights, By Tom Westcott, London, 1 August 2014,
  19. ^ "Afriqiyah Airways Adds Monastir Service from late-May 2014". Airline Route. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Route Map April 2014,
  21. ^ "Press Releases – 14-04-2014 – Alitalia". 
  22. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo Freighter Operations get ready for DWC move". Emirates SkyCargo. 2 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Canadair C-4 Argonaut G-ALHL Tripoli-Idris Airport (TIP)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  24. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 HL7328 Tripoli". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  25. ^ "ASN Aircraft Accident Boeing 727-2L5 5A-DIA Tripoli International Airport". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  26. ^ Staff (12 May 2010). "Plane Crash in Libya 'Kills More than 100'". BBC News. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "5A-IAY Hull-Loss Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "5A-DLZ Criminal Occurrence Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  29. ^ [4].
  30. ^ Salama, Vivian (26 August 2011). "Tripoli Airport Attacked by Qaddafi Forces". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  31. ^ [unreliable source?][5]. (via Facebook).
  32. ^ "11 aircraft are missing from ‘terrorist-held’ Tripoli airport ahead of 9/11 anniversary". Metro UK. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 

External links[edit]