nicosia international airport

There’s obviously not much happening at this airport, which is located outside of Nicosia, the capital of the troubled island of Cyprus. The last commercial flight to depart from this airport left the ground in 1977, and even that was somewhat unusual–normal operations came to a halt three years earlier during the Turkish invasion of the island, as part of a conflict that has never really been resolved. The moldering remains of Nicosia International Airport, bombed by Turkish forces in July 1974, have remained here ever since, one of the surprising number of “ghost airports” around the world. Like this one, many of these airports have been closed as a result of war; there was one, for instance, on the Gaza Strip which closed in 2001.

The aircraft you see still parked on the runway is a Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident, which was a short-range airliner invented by the British in the 1950s. None are still flying, and metal thieves have long since stripped this one of anything useful. The airport terminal building to the left is still intact, but inside it’s a ghostly ruin of decaying ticket counters and seating areas frozen in time from the mid-1970s. Here is a photo of the inside.

nicosia airport interior by dickelbers

Nicosia International Airport was originally constructed by the British RAF in the 1930s and became quite important for RAF strategic operations during World War II. After the war it was retooled for civilian use and was heavily remodeled in the late 1960s, ironically only a few years before the Greek-Turkish conflict over Cyprus began. Who knows if this airport will ever again be operational. The problems on Cyprus remain to be resolved.

The satellite photo is from Google Earth; the interior photo is by Wikimedia Commons user Dickelbers and is used under Creative Commons 3.0 (Attribution) license.