Egypt aviation minister on board test flight to Sphinx International Airport
Ahram Online, , Monday 15 Oct 2018


The first test flight landed on Monday in West Cairo's Sphinx International Airport ahead of the airport's official opening at the end of this year.

Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Younes El-Masry was on board the flight, which took off from Cairo International Airport.

Test flights are being held periodically at the new airport ahead of its opening.

The airport has a 975 m² departure hall and a 1,100 m² arrival hall with a capacity of 300 passengers per hour. It also has one VIP hall, 27 administrative offices and affiliated buildings.

The runway is 3,650 metres long and has three sub-lanes and a 126,800 m2 tarmac that can accommodate nine large aircrafts.

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The new airport is equipped with state-of-the-art technology in air traffic control and automatic landing systems and security systems such as x-ray explosive detectors and high end CCTV and thermal surveillance cameras.

"The experimental operation of the airport aims to test the efficiency of operations and security systems and to address any technical obstacles ahead of the airport's official launch," El-Masry said.

The new airport has been dubbed the “300 passenger airport” due to its accommodation capacity per hour.

The construction of the airport started in 2016 and was inspected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in February.

The airport aims to alleviate pressure on Cairo International Airport and serve the area of 6 October, Sheikh Zayed, as well as the governorates of Fayoum and Beni Sweif.

The airport is set to be listed number 33 on Egypt's internal and international airports with the build-operate-transfer (BOT) system.

The new airport is part of a plan to construct two other airports; Katameya International Airport to the north of Cairo to serve visitors heading to New Cairo and the under-construction new administrative capital, as well as El-Meliz Airport in Central Sinai.

In press statements in October last year, then-minister of aviation Sherif Fathy said Sphinx International Airport has “strategic goals,” with a plan to expand to cargo services in the future.

Fathy has said that the airport will serve tourists aiming to visit the pyramids of Giza and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is set to open in early 2019.

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