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Providing one of the most important gateways to Africa and The Middle East, Cairo International Airport plays a vital role in the global transport of peoples and cargo. Located at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Persian Gulf, it plays a role as a regional hub for millions of visitors to Egypt. WRITTEN BY JACK SLATER

SAND AND

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CAIRO AIRPORT

The Ministry of Civil Aviation along with the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation and the Cairo Airport Company have embarked on a long-term development plan to upgrade and modernize its facilities, increase its capacities and set a new standard of service in the region.

C

airo Airport’s mission is to become a passenger and cargo hub for the Middle East North Africa region (MENA).

To this end, they have recently finished the projects upon Runway 05R/23L and the new Control Tower to accommodate the increase

The plan is to achieve the top levels of service by rising

of future traffic development. Additional projects include enterting

to global competitive levels and gradually applying air transport

the final stage of completion of the Seasonal Terminal aimed at

liberalization policies. Part of the airport’s strategy includes working

accommodating 3.5 million passengers per year, a three thousand

closely with Egypt Air, which joined the Star Alliance group, as well

capacity Multi Story Carpark with the Automated people Mover for

as its partner airlines. The openings of the 211,000 m2 Terminal

transporting two thousand passengers/hour from T1 to T3. Further

3 doubled the capacity of the current facilities to 22 million annual

ongoing developments include a five star Hotel and an Extended

passengers.

Metro Line linking Cairo Airport with Giza.

2002 saw the beginning of the ambitious plan to upgrade Egypt’s

Cairo International is the second busiest airport in Africa after

civil aviation facilities which continues with the renovation of Terminal

OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Over

One’s VIP Lounges and Terminal Two was recomissioned. The aim is

forty five passenger airlines use Cairo airport (including charter

to make them ready to host 8.5 million international passengers per

airlines) and nine cargo airlines. EgyptAir is the largest operator at

year.

the airport. It is administered together with other airport facilities by EHCAAN (Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation). Management is through contractual arrangements, currently held by Fraport AG. Started as a naval base, it was after the Second World War that Cairo Airport started to take shape. After the American Forces commanding the base had left after the end of the war, it was taken over by the Civil Aviation Authority for global civil aviation purposes but it wasn’t until 1963 that Cairo International Airport earned its title after replacing Heliopolis, the old airport, located along the Hike-Step region in the eastern part of Cairo. By 2009 Cairo Airport was able to serve about 14.4 million passengers, a sizeable percentage increase from the previous year. It also handled about 143,000 movements of aircrafts in the same year, also a strategic increase from the previous year. The tonnage of airfreight passing through the airport was about 275,000. Amidst this statistics, Cairo Airport still comes second in Africa in terms of busy airport activity. There are more than 65 airlines using the airport, as well as nine cargo and charter airline. EgyptAir has the largest chunk of operations in the airport taking up to 61 percent of all departure slots. After EgyptAir was assimilated into the lucrative Star Alliance carrier, Cairo Airport has been poised to become the chief hub of major destinations from Africa, Europe and the Middle East, since it has A380 facilities among other major utilities.


Projects

“Such a hotel will help promote the airport as a transit alternative”

A number of projects are underway to enable Cairo to compete with Dubai as a transit destination, according to the Minister of Civil Aviation Abdel Aziz Fadhel. Speaking at the Euromoney Conference 2013, Fadhel said a 350room hotel attached to the Cairo International Airport is currently under construction and is part of the ministry’s EGP 6bn backlog.

In addition to offering more choice and flexibility ARINC’s unrivalled technical expertise and customer-first policy has led to numerous Airport Systems integration contracts in the Middle East where one of its biggest projects was Terminal

to Dubai and boost the number of transit travelers amounting to currently 30% of total arrivals”, he said. Fadhel added that expansions to the airport with the goal of increasing its capacity from the current annual 21 million passengers are in the pipeline, as well as an unspecified “mega-project” to be set up over a 10 million square metre area that he said would create 100,000 new jobs.

New Attractions And The 50 Year Anniversary – Golden Jubilee To celebrate its half centinneriary the Ministry of Civil Aviation &

3 at Cairo International Airport. The company delivered,

Cairo Airport company celebrated with The Golden Jubilee for Cairo

installed and integrated a suite of 14 specialist information-

Airport Company. This was on the occasion of the 5th anniversary for

handling systems, many of which were later extended to

Cairo Airport Company that was established in 1963.

the new Seasonal Flights Terminal and Automated People

Another attraction for both leisure and business travelers is the

Mover (APM) Stations.

new ‘5 Star Hotel’ which has been built in front the new terminal

In partnership with AVIT, ARINC expanded its customer base

and linked with an air-conditioned, 230m long skyway that is also

in 2013 with the award of an Egyptian Airports Company

equipped with moving walkway/travelators. The Hotel will offer, on a

contract covering five Regional Airports including Sharm El

total of 10,000 sqm of land assigned for the facility, opportunities for

Sheikh, Luxor, Borg El Arab, Aswan and Abu Simbel.

Conferences, Business Meetings and simply the highest comfort. The Hotel will include 350 Rooms and will be managed by “Le Meridien.

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Cairo Airport