Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport is an international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 located 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

, Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the larger of the country's two commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport
Paphos International Airport
-Public transport:A bus serviceis available from the airport to Karavella station in Paphos where one may change bus to other destinations in the island. Information regarding these buses is available at .-External links:*...

 on the island's southwestern coast. The airport has one primary passenger terminal
Airport terminal
An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer between ground transportation and the facilities that allow them to board and disembark from aircraft....

. Departures are accommodated on the upper level, while arrivals at the ground level. A second "VIP terminal" also exists, which is used for visiting Heads of State, some private aviation, and for cargo.

The airport utilises a single large apron
Airport ramp
The airport ramp or apron is part of an airport. It is usually the area where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled or boarded. Although the use of the apron is covered by regulations, such as lighting on vehicles, it is typically more accessible to users than the runway or taxiway...

 for all passenger aircraft. There are 16 jetways (boarding bridges), connecting the main terminal with aircraft, while there is a provision for utilization of shuttle buses to convey passengers during hours of extreme traffic. Infrastructure also features a large engineering hangar, a cargo terminal
Container terminal
A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles, for onward transportation. The transshipment may be between container ships and land vehicles, for example trains or trucks, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime...

, and separate facilities for fuelling and provisioning light aircraft. There is a VIP terminal also. There is a second, smaller apron where cargo aircraft and private aircraft are often parked. There are also spaces for smaller aircraft for flying schools and privately owned aircraft separate from the main two aprons.
The Larnaca airport is rank at 64th of Top 100 busiest airports in Europe.


Larnaca Airport was hastily developed towards the end of 1974 after the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 on 20 July of the same year, which forced the closure of Nicosia International Airport
Nicosia International Airport
Nicosia International Airport is a largely disused airport located to the west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia. It was originally the main airport for the island, but commercial activity ceased following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

. The site on which it was built (near the Larnaca Salt Lake
Larnaca Salt Lake
Larnaca Salt Lake to the west of the town of Larnaca. It is a complex network of four salt lakes of different sizes. The largest is lake Aliki followed by lake Orphani, lake Soros and lake Spiro. They form the second largest salt lake in Cyprus after the Limassol Salt Lake...

), had been previously used as an airfield in the 1930s and, subsequently, as a military installation by the British forces. Larnaca International opened on 8 February 1975, with only limited infrastructure facilities and a prefabricated set of buildings comprising separate halls for departures and arrivals. The first airlines to use the new airport were Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways is the national airline of Cyprus, a public limited company with its head offices located in the capital of the island, Nicosia. It operates scheduled services to 41 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf. It flies from both airports of the island, Larnaca and Paphos,...

 using Viscount 800s
Vickers Viscount
The Vickers Viscount was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world...

 leased from British Midland
Bmi (airline)
British Midland Airways Limited , is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington in the United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport, and a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa...

 and Olympic Airways using NAMC YS-11
The NAMC YS-11 is a turboprop airliner built by a Japanese consortium, the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The program was initiated by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1954, the aircraft was rolled out in 1962, and production ceased in 1974.-Development and design:In...

s. Initially, the runway at Larnaca International was too short for jet aircraft.
Nowadays, Larnaca Airport is used as a hub by passengers travelling between Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. The status of Cyprus as a major tourist destination means that air traffic has steadily risen to over 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity the airport was first designed for. For this reason, a tender was put out in 1998 to develop the airport further and increase its capacity (see below). Already completed elements of the expansion include a new control tower, fire station, runway extension, and additional administrative offices. The surrounding road network was improved by upgrading the B4 road and by completing the A3 Motorway
A3 motorway (Cyprus)
The A3 motorway is a modern motorway linking Larnaca International Airport, the largest airport in Cyprus, and Ayia Napa, a very popular clubbing paradise. It is 55 km long. The road was built in five phases and took about 10 years to be completed...


A new Junction has been constructed near the new terminal. The new terminal was built some 500 metre west of the old terminal, adjacent to the new control tower
Control tower
A control tower, or more specifically an Air Traffic Control Tower , is the name of the airport building from which the air traffic control unit controls the movement of aircraft on and around the airport. Control towers are also used to control the traffic for other forms of transportation such...

, with new aprons and jetways. The old terminal building is slated to be partially demolished and refurbished as a cargo centre, and is currently used as a private terminal for visiting heads of state, VIPs, and private aircraft operators.
The concept architectural design of the passenger terminal was developed by French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

s at Aéroports de Paris
Aéroports de Paris
Aéroports de Paris or ADP is the airport authority that owns and manages the fourteen civil airports and airfields in the Île-de-France area. Among its notable airports are Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Orly Airport and Le Bourget Airport...

 (ADP) with Sofréavia in France. Detail and Tender design was completed in Cyprus by 1998, with local architectural office Forum Architects and a large engineering team under the coordination of ADP. The design was later used as a base for the BOT projects of both Larnaca and Pafos International Airports though significant changes were made mainly on "value engineering" grounds. A large amount of controversy spurred by the local media surrounded the granting of the contract when it was put out to tender. A consortium led by BAA and Joannou & Paraskevaides
Joannou & Paraskevaides
-North Africa and the Middle East:Joannou & Paraskevaides Limited was established in 1961 in Guernsey, Channel Islands...

 (J&P) construction quickly pulled out when it did not receive assurances from the government of Cyprus that it would receive financial compensation in the event that direct flights were allowed between the Turkish occupied north of the island and the rest of the world. The contract was eventually hastily granted to the next best bidder, the French led 'Hermes' Consortium. This too, was not free of controversy, causing legal challenges by BAA and J&P, and adding further delays to a much needed project.

New terminal

A 650m upgrade of the Larnaca and Paphos airports has been completed, representing Cyprus's first Build-Operate-Transfer
Build-own-operate-transfer or build-operate-transfer is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate a facility stated in the concession contract...

 (BOT) project. The international tender was won by Hermes Airports, a French-led group. The consortium is made up of Bouygues
Bouygues S.A. is a French industrial group headquartered in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Bouygues is listed on Euronext Paris exchange and is a blue chip in the CAC 40 stock market index. The company was founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues and since 1989 has been led by his son Martin...

 Batiment International (22%) Egis Projects (20%), the Cyprus Trading Corporation (a local retail group-10%), Iacovou Brothers (a local contractor-10%), Hellenic Mining (10%), Vancouver Airport Services
Vancouver Airport Services
Vancouver Airport Services is an airport management company with 19 airports worldwide. It is a subsidiary of the Vancouver Airport Authority which manages Vancouver International Airport....

 (10%), Ireland's
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 Dublin Airport Authority
Dublin Airport Authority
Dublin Airport Authority plc is the state-owned airport authority in the Republic of Ireland. With a head office on the grounds of Dublin Airport in Fingal, County Dublin, the authority also owned the Great Southern Hotels which had nine sites throughout the island of Ireland and international...

 (Aer Rianta International) (10%), Charilaos Apostolides (a local construction company-5%) and Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (3%).

Hermes Airports built new passenger terminals and plans to extend the runways at both airports under a 25-year concession. A new terminal building opened on 7 November 2009. It has 16 jetways (boarding bridges), 67 check in counters, 8 self check-in kiosks, 48 departure gates, 2,450 parking spots. The new terminal can handle 7.5 million passengers per year.

The second phase, to be completed in 2013, provides for the expansion of the new terminal to handle 9 million passengers a year, and for a 500 m (1,640.4 ft) runway extension. The design of the new 98000 m² (117,207 sq yd) terminal includes 16 boarding bridges and is intended to reflect the proportions of a medieval aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

 located in the city.

Airport shopping area

The airport has a shopping area of 6000 square meters and travelers have easy access to all sections of shops which sell luxury goods, sporting goods, stationery, toys, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, electronic goods, all from largest brands. Also there are over 19 places to eat or drink.

Larnaca Airport Facilities for Disabled

Larnaca Airport is well equipped for people with special needs or with reduced mobility. Larnaca Airport’s special facilities include of disabled toilets, lifts, wheelchairs, micro-lifts, as well as car parking spaces.
Parking spaces for people with limited mobility are located in front of P1 (short term Larnaca Airport parking zone). The first 120 minutes are free of charge, however after the mentioned time, drivers are charged with standard parking rates, you can check Larnaca Airport Parking rates here. To have 120 minutes free parking, drivers should go to the Parking office at the front of the Terminal building prior to leaving Larnaca Airport and show their Disability Badge to get their car park ticket validated.

Airlines and destinations

Ground transport

The airport can be reached by car, taxi and public transport system. There is a shuttle bus
Airport bus
An airport bus, or airport shuttle bus or airport shuttle is a bus or coach used to transport people to/from, or within airports. These vehicles will usually be equipped with larger luggage space, and incorporate special branding....

 system from both Limassol Nicosia.
Some hotels offer shuttle services from the airport to their establishment. Taxis are available 24 hours a day from outside the main entrance of Larnaca International Airport (LCA) and are mainly private operators providing services to Larnaca town and popular beachfront hotels. Fares are displayed on a board in the Arrivals Hall. There are no limousine companies operating from out of Larnaca International Airport. However, companies offering such services may be available from Larnaca town. Visitors requiring a limousine are advised to make the necessary enquiries ahead of their arrival at the airport.

Public transport

Public transport buses are available from bus stops outside the airport to various locations in Larnaca where one may change bus routes to other destinations in the island. Information regarding these buses is available at Cyprus By Bus.

There are no dedicated bus routes between Larnaca town and the Airport, but all routes serving the villages to the southwest of the town (e.g. Kiti, Pervolia, Dromolaxhia, Meneou etc.) pass from the airport.

Private company Kapnos Airport Shuttle Ltd. operates limited-stop coach services to Larnaca airport from Nicosia.

Incidents and accidents

  • On 13 October 1977, Lufthansa Flight 181
    Lufthansa Flight 181
    Lufthansa Flight 181 was a Lufthansa Boeing 737-230 Adv aircraft named Landshut that was hijacked on October 13, 1977 by four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine...

     flying from Palma de Mallorca to Frankfurt with 91 passengers and crew was hijacked by four Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

     (PFLP) members, and was diverted and landed in turn at the airports in Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , Larnaca, Bahrain
    ' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

     and Dubai
    Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

    . The Boeing 737
    Boeing 737
    The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

     was then forced to fly on to Mogadishu Airport, Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

    , where a German antiterrorist squad
    GSG 9
    The GSG 9 der Bundespolizei , is the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police.-History and name:...

     stormed the plane, killing 3 hijackers, arresting one and rescuing all passengers.
  • On 19 February 1978, Larnaca Airport was the scene of a 1-hour gun battle between Unit 777
    Unit 777
    Unit 777 , also known as Task Force 777, is an Egyptian military counter-terrorism and special operations unit created in 1977 by the government of Anwar Sadat in response to concerns of increased terrorist activity following the expulsion of Soviet military advisors from the country by Sadat and...

    , an Egyptian military
    Military of Egypt
    The Egyptian Armed Forces are the largest in Africa, and the Arab World, and is the tenth largest in the world, consisting of the Egyptian Army, Egyptian Navy, Egyptian Air Force and Egyptian Air Defense Command....

    Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

     force, who had raided Larnaca International
    Egyptian raid on Larnaca International Airport
    On 19 February 1978, Egyptian forces raided Larnaca International Airport near Larnaca, Cyprus in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking situation. Earlier, two assassins had killed prominent Egyptian newspaper editor Youssef Sebai and then rounded up several Arabs who were attending a convention...

    , and the Cypriot National Guard
    Cypriot National Guard
    The Cypriot National Guard , also known as the "Greek Cypriot National Guard" or simply as "National Guard", is the combined arms military force of the Republic of Cyprus...

The crisis had begun the previous day, when Youssef Sebai, editor of a prominent Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian newspaper and friend of Egyptian President
President of Egypt
The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the head of state of Egypt.Under the Constitution of Egypt, the president is also the supreme commander of the armed forces and head of the executive branch of the Egyptian government....

 Anwar El Sadat, was assassinated at the Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts founded by Conrad Hilton and now owned by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton hotels are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton Hotels became the first coast-to-coast...

 hotel by two gunmen. Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) members then hijacked a Cyprus Airways DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 plane taking several Egyptian hostages. They forced the plane to approach several countries including Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, but each time their request to land was refused, so the plane was forced to return to Larnaca Airport. Egypt then dispatched its entire antiterrorist squad aboard a C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 to deal with the hijacking; however, doing so without the consent of the Cypriot government. On landing in Larnaca the commandos launched an all-out assault on the DC-8, even as Cypriot negotiators had secured the hostage-takers' surrender. Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou
Spyros Kyprianou
Spyros Achilleos Kyprianou was one of the most prominent politicians of modern Cyprus. He served as the second President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1977 to 1988....

 and other senior officials observing the events on site were forced to retreat from the airport control tower after it was hit by bullets. The crisis ended after the Cypriot National Guard overpowered the Egyptian commandos. 15 members of the 74-man Egyptian anti-terrorist unit died. There were no Cypriot fatalities. President Kyprianou offered reconciliation and apologies, but maintained that Cyprus could not have allowed the Egyptians to act. Frosty diplomatic relations between the two countries persisted for some time. Two Palestinian hijackers were swiftly prosecuted. They received death sentences, later reduced to life imprisonment.
  • On 5 April 1988, a Kuwait Airways
    Kuwait Airways
    Kuwait Airways is the national airline of Kuwait, with its head office on the grounds of Kuwait International Airport, Al Farwaniyah Governorate. It operates scheduled international services throughout the Middle East, to the Indian subcontinent, Europe, Southeast Asia and North America, from its...

     Boeing 747
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

     (Kuwait Airways Flight 422) was hijacked
    Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

    , while en route from Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     to Kuwait
    The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

    . After forcing the plane to fly to Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    , the hijackers forced the crew to fly the plane back east to Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

    , but the plane landed in Larnaca for refuelling. Two Kuwaiti hostages were executed by the hijackers and their bodies were thrown out on the airport’s runway. The hijacking ended in Algeria on 20 April 1988.
  • As a result of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis, the Lebanese
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

     airline Middle East Airlines
    Middle East Airlines
    Middle East Airlines – Air Liban S.A.L. , more commonly known as Middle East Airlines , is the national flag-carrier airline of Lebanon, with its head office in Beirut, near Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport...

     evacuated its fleet to Larnaca International Airport.
  • Also as a result of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis, a Canadian
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     military aircraft carrying Canada's Prime Minister
    Prime Minister of Canada
    The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

     Stephen Harper
    Stephen Harper
    Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

     and Canadian citizens fleeing the war, landed in Larnaca. Cyprus served as a safe haven for many nationals during the crisis. The Prime Minister was coming home from a visit to Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

    but landed in Lebanon to pick-up Canadians stranded, and took them back to Canada.
  • On 28 August 2007, three construction workers were injured when a complete 5 metre concrete floor collapsed at the construction site for the new Larnaca International Airport passenger terminal.

External links

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