Tripoli International Airport – Libya’s Largest Airport
The largest airport in Libya, The Tripoli International Airport was a major hub for Libyan Airlines, Afriqiyah Airways and Buraq Air. Currently the airport is closed due to the damaged inflicted upon the airport in the Battle of Tripoli Airport as part of Libyan Civil War of 2014. This is a public airport operated by Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau ad is located at a distance of 34 km from the city center. At an elevation of 80 meters above mean sea level, the airport has 2 runways measuring 3,600 meters and, 235 meters. The Miitga International Airport, which is around 8 km from the Tripoli city center, is the currently serving domestic as well as international airport. The airport currently has only one terminal which is used by both international and domestic passengers for departures and arrivals. When it was operational it had the capacity of handling 3 million passengers annually.
The Tripoli Airport has been operational since 1934 and that time it was known Tripoli-Castel Benito Airport. It was initially created as a military airfield by Italian Air Force and the Italian Libya governor Italo Balbo got the airport expanded for civil use. In the year 1938, the airport was renamed Aeroporto di Tripoli-Castel Benito and international services were commenced by Ala Littoria. The British Royal Air Force extensively used this airport during the Second World War and named it RAF Castel Benito and RAF Idris in 1952. The present name was christened sometime in 1960’s. The airport underwent massive renovation in the September 1979 and the master plan of the Tripolis International Airport was developed by Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners. Between the months from March to October 2011, the service at the airport remained suspended as United Nations Security Council declared Libya to be a no-fly zone. The airport resumed service from 11th October 2011. Another around of political unrest gripped the airport when it became the site of fierce battle between government forces and zintan militias. Due to the clashes at the airport, it suffered huge damage and since 23rd August2014 the airport has remained closed, indefinitely.
When operational, the Tripoli Airport served as base for Afriqiyah Airways, Air Algerie, Alitalia, British Airways, Buraq Air, EgyptAir, Libyan Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Syphax Airlines, Tunisair and Turkish Airline. Emirates SkyCargo, Etihad Cargo, Royal Jordanian Cargo, TMA Cargo and Turkish Airlines Cargo are the cargo airlines that used to operate to and from the Tripoli International Airport. Awards
Routes and Destinations
Amman, Cairo, Casablanca, Algiers, Rome, London, Jeddah, Riyadh, Istanbul, Alexandria, Dusseldorf, Paris, Tunis, Benghazi and Bayda are among the many domestic as well as international destinations which were directly connected to the Tripoli International Airport, but as of now all flights are cancelled.
As the Tripoli International Airport is not operational, all flights scheduled for the Tripoli Airport land at the Mitiga International Airport, located at a distance of 8 km from Tripoli city center and is a joint civil as well as military airport. It is at an elevation of 11 meters above sea level and has two runways measuring 1,829 meters and 3,376 meters in length. The airport has been operational since 1923 when it was built as an Italian Air base and was called l'aeroporto militare di Mellaha. During the Second World War, the German took control of the airport and used it as their air base. However, it was captured by the British Army in January 1943 who handed over its control to US Army Air Forces. The airport was named as Mellaha AAF until being renamed it as Wheelus Air Base in 1945. The name of the airport was again changed in 1969 as Okba Ben Nafi Air Base. The current name of the airport was christened in 1995 after this air base was converted to a civilian airport.
The airport is located very close to the city making it the obvious choice for those planning a trip to Libya. Currently only Libyan Airlines, Afriqiyah Airways and Buraq Air operate passenger services to and from the Mitiga International Airport.
Mesratha Airport which is also spelt as Misrata International Airport is another major airport near Tripoli International Airport. Operated by Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau, this airport has a 3,400 meters long runway. The Misrata International Airport has been serving as an airbase as well as training center for the Libyan Air Force but since 16th July, 2014, it has been serving as an alternate to Tripoli International Airport. Afriqiyah Airways to Amman, Istanbul and Alexandria, Libyan Airlines to Alexandria and Ghadames Air Transport to Istanbul are the three airline companies that operate from the Mesratha Airport. ULS Airlines Cargo and MNG Airlines are the major cargo airlines that too operate from this airport.
Airports near Tripoli: