Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport
|Sharm el-Sheikh International Airpoirt
مطار شرم الشيخ الدولي
Maṭār Sharm Ash-Shaykh Ad-Dawly
|Terminal 2 of the airport|
|IATA: SSH – ICAO: HESH
|Airport type||Public (former Military)|
|Serves||Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt|
|Elevation AMSL||143 ft / 44 m|
|Source: List of the busiest airports in Africa, DAFIF|
Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (Arabic: مطار شرم الشيخ الدولي Maṭār Sharm al-Shaykh al-Duwaliyy) (IATA: SSH, ICAO: HESH), formerly known as Ophira International Airport, is an international airport located in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Opened on May 14, 1968, the airport was originally an Israeli Air Force base and also served the small settlement of Ofira, before the territory was returned to Egypt following the Camp David Accords.
In 2008, the Egyptian Airports Holding Company announced plans to build a third new terminal at the airport. The company expects to receive design offers for before the end of September 2008. Ibrahim Mannaa, the director of Airports Holding Company, said that it is a move to meet the sizeable increase in passengers numbers at the airport that exceeded 28% during the first 8 months of 2008.
The largest regular aircraft operating into the airport is the Boeing 747-400 by Transaero Airlines (from Moscow); British Airways operated the only regular scheduled Boeing 777-200ER service from Gatwick Airport, which has now ceased.
On 23 May 2007, the airport's second terminal was inaugurated with a capacity for 5 million passengers per year. The two-level 43,000 square metres (460,000 sq ft) terminal features 40 check-in counters and is designed to cater to a large number of international and chartered flights. It has two domestic and six international gates, all of which exit to remote stands. The terminal comprises three building components: two circular-shaped halls fused together by a wedge-shaped intermediate space dubbed 'the boat'. 'The boat' serves as a passenger transit hub housing passport control, duty free, and VIP areas as well as cafes/restaurants. The halls, in stark textural contrast to the solid mass of 'the boat', feature airy, billowing tent-like roofs inspired by the indigenous Bedouin culture
Although known as 'Terminal 2' this is actually the airport's original terminal building. The building underwent a complete modernisation programme in 2004 and has a passenger handling capacity of 2.5 million passengers per year. Since the auguration of Terminal 1 in 2007 most airlines have shifted operations to the new building with notable exceptions like Air Berlin, Air Cairo, Eurofly and Livingston Airlines.
In 2008, the Egyptian Airports Holding Company announced plans to build a third new terminal at the airport. In July 2009 the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) signed a contract with Spanish construction designers Pointec for the third terminal. The terminal will double the airport's capacity from 7.5 to 15 million passengers per year. The project's primary costs are estimated at $350 million. The design phase is due to be completed by early 2010. International contractors then will be invited for an open tender to construct the terminal which is scheduled to be completely constructed by 2012.
Airlines and destinations
Nationals from the EU and the US do not require a visa for travel to Sharm El Sheikh if the visit is for fourteen days or less, although those travelling to outside the Sinai area may still require a visa, which are purchasable for a small fee on arrival. It is mandatory for all travellers arriving at Sharm El Sheikh International Airport to complete a landing card (handed-out by crew on flight), and on departing to complete an exiting card (handed-out at check-in) before passing through passport control.
Incidents and accidents
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