Erbil International Airport

Erbil International Airport
Firokaxaney Nêwdewletî Hewlêr
فڕۆکه‌خانه‌ی نێوده‌وڵه‌تی هه‌ولێر
Airport type Public
Operator KRG
Serves Erbil, Iraq
Location Ankawa
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 1,363 ft / 415 m
Coordinates 36°14′15″N 043°57′47″E / 36.23750°N 43.96306°E / 36.23750; 43.96306Coordinates: 36°14′15″N 043°57′47″E / 36.23750°N 43.96306°E / 36.23750; 43.96306
Location in Iraq
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 4,800 15,748 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Cargo 33,527
Total passengers 1,565,998

Erbil International Airport (IATA: EBL, ICAO: ORER), is the main airport of the city of Erbil in Iraq. It is administered by the Iraqi Government under a committee consisting of the Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechervan Idris Barzani, and is one of two international airports (the other being Sulaymaniyah Airport), with a third in Duhok being under construction. The new modern airport opened in 2010. The airport has one of the longest runways in the world (4800m).


The airport was built at the beginning of the 1970s as an Iraqi military base. The airstrip was used as a military base until 1991 by the Ba'ath Party regime as a result of United Nations Security Council establishing a no-fly zone over Northern Iraq. After the 2003 Iraq War, the Kurdistan Regional Government took over administrative rule of the region. On 26 May 2005, the airport was given the ICAO airport code, ORER. Endowed with natural resources including oil, natural gas and other minerals, investment in Iraq has increased since 2005 and the city of Erbil has been the recipient of foreign investments. Due to the growing need for safe access into the country, the Regional Government invested US$500 million in the construction of a modern airport.

Old airport

The old Erbil airport covered 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft), and was divided into departure and arrival halls. It had three gates and a 2,800 m (9,200 ft) long runway with an ILS system.[1] The Kurdistan International Bank, a Tourism Information office, the airline companies offices, duty-free shops, a cafeteria, and the Korek Telecom office were located inside the terminal.

The warehouse offered cargo space amounting to 4,320 m2 (46,500 sq ft) and consisted of an import and an export section. The cargo was handled by Dnata, a Dubai-based company.[1]

New airport

A new Turkish built, $US550 million airport was opened on 3 March 2010.[1][2] The new airport is next to the old airport (previously a military field) and has one of the world's longest runways, 4,800 m × 75 m (15,748 ft × 246 ft) and is equipped for ILS CAT II operations.[1] The airport's new terminal has duty-free shops and currency exchange offices.[3] The terminal also has CIP areas for business jets, and there is a VIP terminal for visiting dignitaries and diplomats[2] for the purpose of achieving international airport standards.[4]

In 2010 Erbil International Airport had the least expensive aviation fuel in Iraq (at 83 US cents per litre).[5]

From September 29, 2017, until the 14th of March, 2018, following the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, all commercial international flights were suspended.[6] The airport remained open for domestic, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic flights.[7]

Airlines and destinations


These are the airlines and destinations served from Erbil Airport:[8]

Air Arabia Sharjah
Al Naser Wings Airlines Baku[9]
Armenia Aircompany Yerevan
AtlasGlobal Istanbul–Atatürk[10]
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Buta Airways Baku
FlyBaghdad Baghdad
flydubai Dubai–International[11]
FlyErbil Gothenburg,[12] Kiev-Zhulyany,[12] Nuremberg,[12] Rotterdam, Stockholm-Arlanda[12]
flynas Jeddah[13]
GermaniaSeasonal: Düsseldorf, Munich
Iraqi Airways Amman–Queen Alia, Baghdad, Berlin–Tegel, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London Gatwick
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Middle East Airlines Beirut[14]
Pegasus Airlines Ankara, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha[15]
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia
SmartWings Seasonal: Prague[16]
Turkish Airlines Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Istanbul–Atatürk
Seasonal: Antalya, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen


Coyne Airways Dubai–International
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
FitsAir Dubai–International
Royal Jordanian Cargo Amman–Queen Alia
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk[17]


Since its opening in 2006, the airport has seen increased traffic. Traffic was up 22% in 2010 and in 2011 demand was up 37% to just over 620,000 passengers. In the first four months of 2012 passenger numbers are up 52% with April setting a new record of 84,275 departing and arriving passengers.[18]

Annual Passenger & Cargo Traffic[19]
Year Passengers % Change Cargo (MT) % Change
2007275,183 68%10,000
2008302,000 10%14,500 45%
2009356,850 18%11,533 -20%
2010449,536 26%10,848 -6%
2011620,365 38%17,864 65%
2012947,600 53%27,488 54%
20131,193,783 26%38,571 40%
20141,565,998 31%33,527 -13%


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Old & New".
  2. 1 2 "A winning design". 26 May 2005.
  3. "Shops and Services".
  4. Erbil International. "Airport".
  5. EIA informs of one liter fuel in Erbil is $0.83
  6. Baghdad 'No fly Zone' looms for Kurdistan airports
  7. "Iraqi govt enforces international flight ban in Kurdistan region - France 24". 29 September 2017.
  8. Erbil Airport Flight Schedule
  9. Liu, Jim (28 June 2018). "Al Naser Wings adds Erbil – Baku from late-June 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. Atlasglobal. "Flight Schedule".
  11. Flydubai Flight. "Timetables". flydubai.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Liu, Jim (28 June 2018). "FlyErbil outlines operations from June 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  13. Rudaw News. "First international flight lands at Erbil airport from Saudi after ban lifted". Rudaw.
  14. MEA. "Timetable".
  15. DOH. "Booking".
  16. UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings plans Iraq flights from March 2018". Routesonline.
  17. Turkish Airlines cargo 2015 winter schedule
  18. Erbil International Airport (13 June 2012). "Growing by 50% in 2012; Mahan Air, Qatar Airways and new this year".
  19. "Airport Statistics".
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