The new Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus
The opening of the long-awaited new terminal at the Ercan airport is finally here!
After many years of hard work, big anticipation and delays due to financial problems, the new Ercan Airport was finally open on 20.07.2023.
The official launch of the new runway and a terminal building of the Ercan Airport in a ceremony in Lefkoşa (Nicosia) on Thursday coincides with the 49th anniversary of Türkiye's military operation conducted to protect the Turkish population on the Eastern Mediterranean island.
The new Ercan Airport will surely be Northern Cyprus`s window to the world. The 450 million euro expansion would raise the facility's annual passenger capacity close to 10 million.
Due to the international isolation of Northern Cyprus (at the insistence of Greek Cypriots) Ercan Airport, located about 13 kilometers east of the capital city Nicosia, currently only has direct flights from Turkiye. But like Turkish President Erdogan said yesterday at the official opening, this will surely change - it is expected that international flights will be coming to the new airport in the near future.
The island will witness a transformative change with the upgraded facility and its cutting-edge terminal building. Ercan Airport is set to accommodate wide-body aircraft, thanks to its expanding capabilities and facilities. The new runway stretches an impressive 3,100 meters (10,170 feet), surpassing the previous one's length of 2,755 meters.
Moreover, the airport boasts an ample parking area, accommodating up to 30 aircraft. Among its new features, an indoor parking lot capable of holding 1,500 vehicles will be available, equipped with state-of-the-art technology. These enhancements are anticipated to play a significant role in bolstering the country's tourism sector and overall economy.
The beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, despite many diplomatic efforts by the United Nations to achieve a realistic comprehensive settlement that both sides would agree on.
In the early 1960s, violent ethnic conflicts compelled Turkish Cypriots to seek refuge within enclaves to ensure their safety. Subsequently, in 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup, with aspirations of annexing Cyprus to Greece, prompted the military intervention of Türkiye, acting as a guarantor power, to safeguard Turkish Cypriots from persecution and harm.
The establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) took place in 1983. Since then, there have been intermittent attempts at achieving peace, with a notable but unsuccessful initiative in 2017 held in Switzerland, under the mediation of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece, and the United Kingdom.
Ercan Airport's annual passenger capacity, currently at around 4 million, may increase to as much as 10 million after the new terminal and runway are brought online and ticket prices fall. It will also generate at least 30 million euros in TRNC`s annual public revenue.
Several test flights have been completed and a plane carrying a Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan performed the first landing at the airport on Thursday, the 20th of July 2023. President Erdogan inaugurated the expanded international airport serving the capital of the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), which is said to become the country's "window to the world."