Nicosia International Airport is located in the capital city of Cyprus—Nicosia. It was originally the main airport of Cyprus but since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it has been disused.
At first, it acted as a military airport owned by the British Ministry of Defence. When Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, it was the island’s only commercial airport and was handed over to the Cyprus Government. The Royal Air Force (RAF) retained a site at the airport for military flights.
The first passenger terminal was built in 1949 and was replaced with a new one in 1968. The design of the new terminal building was very stylish and modern. It was elegant and uncluttered with shafts of sunlight streaming through large circular wells in the ceiling.
Built to become a major tourism and transport hub in the Eastern Mediterranean, the airport would welcome robust trade in the coming years. By 1973, it had reportedly served nearly 800,000 passengers. During the 1974 invasion, Nicosia International Airport became one of the main targets of the Turkish Army and all commercial activities were terminated.
The airport’s effective service life ended on the 22nd of July 1974. The last Cyprus Airways plane had touched down just hours before it was destroyed, on the same morning, when Turkey launched a series of raids on the airport, which became the scene of heavy fighting between the National Guard of Cyprus and Turkish forces.
The airport site is now is in the buffer zone and is mainly used as the headquarters of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus.
1930 Initial construction RAF
1939 Landing strip Shell Company and Pierides & Michaelides
1942 Extended runway Stelios Joannou and George Paraskevaides
1968 New terminals Dorsch und Gehrmann
Text by Elia Neophytou
1930Military Airport for Royal Air Force
1948 - 1974 - International Airport of Cyprus
2018 - 1974 - Used as the headquarters of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus
1930 British Ministry of Defence
1948 - 1960 - Cyprus Government
2018 - 1974 - Buffer zone
2018 United Nations
Form of government
1930 Colonial Government (British Empire)
1948 - 1974 - Colonial Government (British Empire) and Presidential Republic (Republic of Cyprus)
2018 Presidential Republic (Republic of Cyprus)
Spatial Planning Agency
1948 Ministry of Interior
2018 Ministry of Interior
Type of heritage and protection
1930 Not recognized as heritage
1948 Not recognized as heritage
2018 Not recognized as heritage
Interview with Costas Georgiou