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 the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

It is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) 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) in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, with a third in Duhok being under construction. The new modern airport opened its doors in 2010. The airport has one of the longest runways in the world.


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 Kurdistan. 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 Kurdistan 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 Kurdistan 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]

In 2010 Erbil International Airport had the least expensive aviation fuel in Iraq (at 83 US cents per litre).[4]

Airlines and destinations


These are the airlines and destinations serves from Erbil Airport:[5]

Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Arabia Jordan Amman-Queen Alia[6]
Al-Naser Airlines Baghdad, Najaf
AtlasGlobal Istanbul-Atatürk
Austrian Airlines Vienna
EgyptAir Cairo
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
FlyBaghdad Baghdad, Beirut
flydubai Dubai-International
Germania[7]Düsseldorf, Munich, Stockholm-Arlanda
Iraqi Airways Amman-Queen Alia, Baghdad, Basra, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Najaf
Iraqi Airways
operated by AirExplore
Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Mahan Air Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Onur Air Istanbul-Atatürk
Pegasus Airlines Ankara, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Falcon Airlines Amman-Queen Alia
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Small Planet Airlines Charter: Stockholm-Arlanda[8]
Turkish Airlines Diyarbakir, Gaziantep,[9] Istanbul-Atatürk
Seasonal: Antalya, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Zagrosjet Amsterdam, Ankara, Baghdad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Stockholm-Arlanda


Coyne Airways Dubai-International
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
Royal Jordanian Cargo Amman-Queen Alia
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk[10]


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.[11]

Statistics for Erbil International Airport[12]
Year Total passengers Total cargo (metric tons)
2006 163,619
2007 275,183 10,000
2008 302,000 14,500
2009 356,850 11,533
2010 449,536 10,848
2011 620,365 17,864
2012 947,600 27,488
2013 1,193,783 38,571
2014 1,565,998 33,527


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