The main airport of the newly established Republic of Cyprus in 1960 was in Nicosia. It was built during the British Administration of the island and served both Civil Aviation and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The development of the Nicosia Airport was linked to the growing tourist industry and in the late 60's a new terminal building was commissioned. Unfortunately, the course of events changed due to the Turkish invasion of 1974 after which, the premises of the airport came under United Nations administration. As a result, since February 1975, air traffic was catered for through the Larnaka Airport which was created at the site of an airport and landing strip of the RAF which had been abandoned in the late 40s. The Pafos Airport opened for operations in November 1983 to primarily serve the tourism industry of the region of Pafos.
As a tourist and island nation, Cyprus is highly dependent on aviation. The majority of passengers use air transport to arrive to Cyprus. The rise of tourism in Cyprus unfortunately was not matched by simultaneous development of airport infrastructure. Often, problems that would arise during peak hours created a negative image to the traveling public. It was deemed necessary to further develop the airports. In order to avoid burdening the national Budget, and by example of international practice, the Government decided to involve the private sector in the development of the two airports in 2001.
The modernization process of the Cypriot airports at Larnaka and Pafos has progressed with the selection of the private consortium Hermes Airports, which has undertaken the construction of new facilities via the method of B.O.T (Build, Operate, Transfer) and the management of the above airports for a time span of 25 years, ratified by an agreement that was signed on May 12, 2006. The consortium had taken over existing facilities after having made improvements to them, up until the construction of the new facilities.
Hermes Airports has completed the construction of new facilities at Larnaka and Pafos in accordance with the agreed time frame and the general master plan prepared by the company ADP (Aeroport de Paris). The new terminal building at Larnaka Airport was commissioned in November 2009 and has a capacity of 7.5 million passengers per year. Provisions for further expansion and construction of a second parallel runway are envisaged for the future if deemed necessary. The new building at Pafos Airport started operations in November 2008 and the terminal building has a capacity of 2.7 million passengers per year. The size of the two terminal buildings is such that with respect to passenger convenience, and according to the specifications of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the level of service provided is B and C , for Larnaka and Pafos respectively.
Up to the time after which the management of the airports was granted to the company Hermes (12/05/2006), the Department of Civil Aviation was responsible for their operation. In light of the new state of play, the Department’ s role has been modified, and it now has a supervisory role in matters concerning Civil Aviation (Security) and licensing/certification of airports in accordance with Annex 14 (Aerodromes) of the Treaty of Chicago.
Concurrently, in 2008 the monopoly in the area of ground handling and ramp aircraft servicing changed following the release of tenders after which two private consortia undertook the work. Authorization to conduct the work is valid for seven years and both the Department and the airport operator have a supervisory role exercising quality control for the provision of the said services.
The liberalization of air transport, combined with the development of the airports is expected to create opportunities to transform Cyprus into a regional transit hub between Europe and the Middle East. The modern facilities of the two new airports, which provide a high level of service, will contribute decisively in order to achieve this goal.
To achieve an optimized use of airport capacity and to avoid congestion on the premises of the airports, slot allocation, as provided by EU Regulation 95/93 and the relevant amending Regulation 793/2004 is in force. Also, the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines and the best practices of the European Airport Coordinators' Association (EUACA) are applied.
Cyprus’ airports are designated as Schedules Facilitated (Level 2) and therefore the Government has appointed a Schedules Facilitator for the purpose of facilitating the flights of air carriers operating or intending to operate to / from Cyprus’ airports. The funding of the Schedules Facilitation service is shared between the Cyprus-registered/based air carriers, the Airport’s Operator and the State.
Air carriers are required to submit their schedules or schedule changes using the standard format and within the set time frame, according to the procedures laid down by IATA manuals, Standard Schedules Information Manual (SSIM) and Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG), as well as the provisions of the relevant EU Regulations.
Changes in schedules or itineraries shall be submitted electronically in the standard format provided in Chapter 6 of SSIM to the following email address:
For further information visit website: https://www.slots-cyprus.eu/
For clarifications on slot allocation please contact at telephone numbers: +357 22 404132, +357 22 404170, +357 22 404196