Erbil International Airport

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Erbil International Airport
Firokaxaney Nêwdewletî Hewlêr
فڕۆکه‌خانه‌ی نێوده‌وڵه‌تی هه‌ولێر
ErbilAirport logo.jpg
Erbil International Airport terminal building.JPG
Airport type Public
Operator KRG
Serves Erbil, Iraq
Location Ankawa
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 1,363 ft / 415 m
Coordinates 36°14′15″N 043°57′47″E / 36.23750°N 43.96306°E / 36.23750; 43.96306Coordinates: 36°14′15″N 043°57′47″E / 36.23750°N 43.96306°E / 36.23750; 43.96306
ORER is located in Iraq
Location in Iraq
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 4,800 15,748 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Cargo 33,527
Total passengers 1,565,998

Erbil International Airport (IATA: EBL, ICAO: ORER), is the main airport of the city of Erbil in Iraq. It is administered by the Iraqi Government under a committee consisting of the Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechervan Idris Barzani, and is one of two international airports (the other being Sulaymaniyah Airport), with a third in Duhok being under construction. The new modern airport opened in 2010. The airport has one of the longest runways in the world (4800m).


The airport was built at the beginning of the 1970s as an Iraqi military base. The airstrip was used as a military base until 1991 by the Ba'ath Party regime as a result of United Nations Security Council establishing a no-fly zone over Northern Iraq. After the 2003 Iraq War, the Kurdistan Regional Government took over administrative rule of the region. On 26 May 2005, the airport was given the ICAO airport code, ORER. Endowed with natural resources including oil, natural gas and other minerals, investment in Iraq has increased since 2005 and the city of Erbil has been the recipient of foreign investments. Due to the growing need for safe access into the country, the Regional Government invested US$500 million in the construction of a modern airport.[citation needed]

Old airport[edit]

The old Erbil airport covered 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft), and was divided into departure and arrival halls. It had three gates and a 2,800 m (9,200 ft) long runway with an ILS system.[1] The Kurdistan International Bank, a Tourism Information office, the airline companies offices, duty-free shops, a cafeteria, and the Korek Telecom office were located inside the terminal.

The warehouse offered cargo space amounting to 4,320 m2 (46,500 sq ft) and consisted of an import and an export section. The cargo was handled by Dnata, a Dubai-based company.[1]

New airport[edit]

A new Turkish built, $US550 million airport was opened on 3 March 2010.[1][2] The new airport is next to the old airport (previously a military field) and has one of the world's longest runways, 4,800 m × 75 m (15,748 ft × 246 ft) and is equipped for ILS CAT II operations.[1] The airport's new terminal has duty-free shops and currency exchange offices.[3] The terminal also has CIP areas for business jets, and there is a VIP terminal for visiting dignitaries and diplomats[2] for the purpose of achieving international airport standards.[4]

In 2010 Erbil International Airport had the least expensive aviation fuel in Iraq (at 83 US cents per litre).[5]

From September 29, 2017, until the 14th of March, 2018, following the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, all commercial international flights were suspended.[6] The airport remained open for domestic, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic flights.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


These are the airlines and destinations served from Erbil Airport:[8]

Air Arabia Sharjah
Al Naser Wings Airlines Baku[9]
Armenia Aircompany Yerevan
AtlasGlobal Istanbul–Atatürk[10]
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Buta Airways Baku
FlyBaghdad Baghdad
flydubai Dubai–International[11]
FlyErbil Amsterdam (begins 5 July 2018),[12] Birmingham (begins 13 July 2018),[12] Gothenburg,[12] Kiev-Zhulyany,[12] Nuremberg (begins 1 July 2018),[12] Odessa (begins 5 July 2018),[12] Stockholm-Arlanda[12]
flynas Jeddah[13]
GermaniaSeasonal: Düsseldorf, Munich
Iraqi Airways Amman–Queen Alia, Baghdad, Berlin–Tegel, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Middle East Airlines Beirut[14]
Pegasus Airlines Ankara, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha[15]
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia
SmartWings Seasonal: Prague[16]
Turkish Airlines Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Istanbul–Atatürk
Seasonal: Antalya, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen


Coyne Airways Dubai–International
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
FitsAir Dubai–International
Royal Jordanian Cargo Amman–Queen Alia
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk[17]


Since its opening in 2006, the airport has seen increased traffic. Traffic was up 22% in 2010 and in 2011 demand was up 37% to just over 620,000 passengers. In the first four months of 2012 passenger numbers are up 52% with April setting a new record of 84,275 departing and arriving passengers.[18]

Statistics for Erbil International Airport[19]
Year Total passengers Total cargo (metric tons)
2006 163,619
2007 275,183 10,000
2008 302,000 14,500
2009 356,850 11,533
2010 449,536 10,848
2011 620,365 17,864
2012 947,600 27,488
2013 1,193,783 38,571
2014 1,565,998 33,527


External links[edit]