Larnaca International Airport
Larnaca International Airport (Greek Διεθνές Aεροδρόμιο Λάρνακας) (IATA=LCA, ICAO=LCLK) is an international airport located near Larnaca, Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport is Cyprus' main international gateway and the larger of the country's two operating commercial airports, the other being Paphos International Airport on the island's southwestern coast. The airport has one passenger terminal comprising two connected airside buildings and a larger common arrivals hall situated behind
The airport utilizes a single large apron for all aircraft. There are no jetways (boarding bridges), and so passengers are conveyed by bus between the terminal and the aircraft. This situation will improve when the replacement terminal comes online. The current infrastructure also feature a large engineering hangar, a cargo terminal, and separate facilities for fueling and provisioning light aircraft.
Larnaca Airport was hastily developed at the end of 1974 after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the summer of the same year and the forced closure of Nicosia International Airport. The site on which it was built (which neighbours the Larnaca Salt Lake) had been previously used as an airfield in the 1930s and subsequently as a military installation by the British. The airport opened in February 1975 as a prefabricated set of buildings comprising a departures and arrivals hall and a control tower. The first airline to use the new airport was Cyprus Airways which operated Viscount 800s leased from British Midland. The initial runway was too short for jet aircraft. Cyprus Airways pre-existing fleet of Hawker Siddeley Trident 1 and 2s had been destroyed on the ground at Nicosia Airport by Turkish Air Force bombings. The second operator to start flights to Larnaca was Olympic Airways using NAMC YS-11s.
Larnaca Airport is often used as a hub by passengers traveling between Europe and the Middle East and Cyprus's status as a major tourist destination means that numbers have steadily risen to over 5 million passengers a year. This is double the capacity the airport was first designed for. As such, a tender was put out in 1998 to develop the airport further increasing 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. A new Junction has been constructed near by the new Terminal. The terminal itself will be rebuilt some 500-700m West of current facilities, adjacent to the new control tower, with new aprons and jet ways. The old terminal building is slated to be partially demolished and refurbished as a cargo centre. The Concept Architectural design was developed by French architects at Aéroports de Paris with SOFREAVIA in France. Detail and Tender design was carried out in Cyprus with local Architectural Office FORUM ARCHITECTS and a large engineering team under the coordination of ADP. 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 J&P construction quickly pulled out when it did not receive assurances from the Cypriot Government 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.
A €650m upgrade of the Larnaca and Paphos airports has commenced, representing Cyprus's first Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project. The international tender was won by Hermes Airports, a French-led group. The consortium is made up of Bouygues 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 (10%), Ireland's Aer Rianta International (10%), Charilaos Apostolides (a local construction company-5%) and Aeroport Nice (3%).
Hermes Airports is to build new passenger terminals and extend the runways at both airports under a 25-year concession. Larnaca’s first phase will serve 7.5 million passengers a year. A new terminal building opened on 10 November 2009 . The existing arrivals hall was expanded in February 2006 by adding two luggage belts, bringing the total up to six, as well as an addition of a smoking area and a larger lounge. This was done as a temporary measure to enable the airport to handle passengers until the new terminal nearby became available.
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-metre runway extension. The design for a new 98,000m² terminal includes 16 boarding bridges and is intended to reflect the proportions of a medieval aqueduct located in the city.
The airport can be reached by car, taxi and public transport system. From Limassol, there is a shuttle bus system with 14 trips per day and ticket price is 7Euro. From Nicosia the shuttlecan have up to 30 trips per day and the ticket price is 5Euro. The shuttle services are non-stop.
Airlines and destinations
- Aegean Airlines (Athens, Thessaloniki)
- Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
- Aerosvit Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil, Odessa)
- Air Berlin (Nuremberg)
- Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
- Air Malta (Malta)
- Air Moldova (Chisinau)
- Air Slovakia (Bratislava, Kuwait)
- Alitalia (Rome-Fiumicino)
- Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv, Sde Dov)
- Austrian Airlines (Vienna)
- Belavia (Minsk)
- Blue Air (Bucharest-Băneasa)
- British Airways (London-Heathrow)
- Brussels Airlines (Brussels)
- Bulgaria Air (Sofia)
- Condor Airlines (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich)
- Cyprus Airways (Amman, Amsterdam, Athens, Bahrain, Beirut, Birmingham, Brussels, Bucharest-Otopeni, Cairo, Damascus, Dubai, Frankfurt, Heraklion, Jeddah, Kiev-Boryspil, Kuwait, London-Heathrow, London-Stansted, Manama, Manchester, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Paphos, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rhodes, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Vienna, Zürich)
- Czech Airlines (Prague)
- Edelweiss Air (Geneva, Zurich)
- EgyptAir (Cairo)
- Emirates Airline (Dubai, Malta)
- Eurocypria Airlines (Belfast-International, Berlin-Schönefeld, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dresden, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Heraklion, Humberside, Leipzig/Halle, Lisbon, London-Gatwick, Lyon, Manchester, Munich, Newcastle, Norwich, Nuremberg, Oslo-Gardermoen, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv [seasonal], Warsaw)
- Finnair (Helsinki)
- First Choice Airways (Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands, Exeter, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester)
- Gulf Air (Bahrain, Dubai)
- Hamburg International (Berlin-Tegel, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle)
- Iran Air (Tehran-Imam Khomeini)
- Israir (Haifa, Tel-Aviv)
- Jat Airways (Belgrade, Dubai, Tel-Aviv)
- Jazeera Airways (Kuwait)
- JetX (Joensuu)
- Jet2.com (Leeds-Bradford Airport)
- KLM (Amsterdam)
- LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw)
- Lufthansa (Frankfurt)
- Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest)
- Middle East Airlines (Beirut)
- Monarch Airlines (Birmingham, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, Manchester)
- Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo)
- Novair (Goteborg)
- Olympic Airlines (Athens, Thessaloniki)
- Omni Air International (New York JFK)
- Rossiya (St. Petersburg)
- Royal Jordanian (Amman)
- Smart Wings (Prague) [seasonal]
- SkyEurope (Vienna)
- Sun D'Or (Tel Aviv)
- Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich)
- Syrian Arab Airlines (Damascus)
- Transaero (Moscow-Domodedovo)
- Travel Service (Budapest, Prague)
- TAROM (Bucharest-Otopeni)
- Thomas Cook Airlines (Belfast-International, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, Leeds/Bradford, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle)
- Thomsonfly (Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted [begins 6 May], Manchester, Newcastle)
- TUIfly (Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart)
- Ural Airlines (Ekaterinburg) [seasonal]
- XL Airways France (Strasbourg)
Incidents and accidents
- On 13 October 1977 Lufthansa Flight 181 flying from Palma de Mallorca to Frankfurt with 91 passengers and crew was hijacked by four PFLP terrorists, and was diverted and landed in turn at the airports in Rome, Larnaca, Bahrain and Dubai. The Boeing 737 was then forced to fly on to Mogadishu Airport, Somalia, where a German antiterrorist squad 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 Egyptian antiterrorist forces and the Cypriot National Guard.
The crisis had began the previous day, when Youssef Sebai, editor of a prominent Egyptian newspaper and friend of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, was assassinated at the Nicosia Hilton hotel by two gunmen. PLO terrorists then hijacked a Cyprus Airways DC-8 plane taking several Egyptian hostages. They forced the plane to approach several countries including Libya, Syria and Djibouti, 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 Hercules C-130 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 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 Boeing 747 (Kuwait Airways Flight 422) was hijacked, while en route from Thailand to Kuwait. After forcing the plane to fly to Iran, the hijackers forced the crew to fly the plane back east to Algeria, 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 airline MEA evacuated its fleet to Larnaca International Airport.
- Also as a result of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis, a Canadian military aircraft carrying Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper 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 but landed in Lebanon to pick-up Canadians stranded, and took them back to Canada.
- On 28 August 2007 three Filipino construction workers were injured when a complete 5 x 40m concrete floor collapsed at the construction site for the new Larnaca International Airport passenger terminal. 
- http://www.financialmirror.com/more_news.php?id=4135&type=news Foundation stone laid at new Larnaca Airport - Financial Mirror]]
- Official Website for Larnaka & Paphos International Airports
- CTC: Agreement between Hermes Airports and Cyprus Gov't for the development of airports- Report by the Cyprus Stock exchange. July 11, 2005 
-  AIRPORTS: Anxious to improve visitors' first impressions - Financial Times December 19, 2006
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,945802,00.html Terror and Triumph at Mogadishu, October 31, 1977, Time Magazine
- Rescuing Nationals Abroad Through Military Coercion and Intervention on Grounds of Humanity by Ronzitti, Natalino (p.40-41), 1985, Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff, ISBN 9024731356
- Political Terrorism: Theory, Tactics and Counter-Measures, by Grant Wardlow, (page 60), 1989, Publisher: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521368413
- http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,915969-2,00.html Murder and Massacre on Cyprus, Time Magazine, 2007-10-23
- "Terrorism Nightmare on Flight 422 - Murder and zealotry meet in a jumbo jet", Time Magazine, Monday, 25 April 1988, 
- http://www.financialmirror.com/more_news.php?id=8091&nt=Politics Hermes regrets accident at new Cyprus airport, 2007-08-30, Financial Mirror
- http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=34379&cat_id=1 Three injured in accident at new Larnaca airport site, 2007-08-30, Cyprus Mail
- Larnaca Airport Movements - Under Construction
- Basic information about the airport at World Airport Codes
- Hermes Airports 
- Cyprus Visas
- Airport Homepage