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Benina International Airport (IATA: BEN, ICAO: HLLB) (Arabic: مطار بنينة الدولي‎) serves Benghazi, Libya. It is located in the town of Benina, 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Benghazi, from which it takes its name. The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau of Libya and is the second largest in the country after Tripoli International Airport. Benina International is also the secondary hub of both Buraq Air and flag carrier, Libyan Airlines. As of 17 July 2014 all flights to the airport were suspended due to fighting in the area.[4]

Benina International Airport

مطار بنينة الدولي
Benina International Airport.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorCivil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau
ServesBenghazi, Libya
LocationBenina
Hub for
Elevation AMSL433 ft / 132 m
Coordinates32°05′50″N 20°16′10″E / 32.09722°N 20.26944°E / 32.09722; 20.26944Coordinates: 32°05′50″N 20°16′10″E / 32.09722°N 20.26944°E / 32.09722; 20.26944
Map
BEN is located in Libya
BEN
BEN
Location within Libya
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15R/33L 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
15L/33R 3,600 11,811 Asphalt
Sources: WAD,[1] GCM[2] SkyVector[3]

The runway length does not include a 300 metres (980 ft) overrun on the end of each runway.

The Benina VOR-DME (Ident: BNA) is located 1.9 nautical miles (3.5 km) northwest of the airport. The Benina non-directional beacon (Ident: BNA) is located on the field.[5][6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
USAF Air Transport Command Routes, 1 September 1945

Benina was a Regia Aeronautica airport in 1917. During World War II the airport was used by Italian 15°Stormo, and after the United States Army Air Forces Ninth Air Force during the Eastern Desert Campaign. Known as Soluch Airfield,[7] it was used by the 376th Bombardment Group, which flew B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from the airfield between 22 February and 6 April 1943.[8] From Benina airport started the US attack on the Ploesti oil refineries in August 1943 with 178 B-24 bombers (called Operation Tidal Wave), after an Italian "Arditi" paratroopers attack that destroyed some Allied aircraft in June 1943[9].

Once the combat units moved west, it was used as a logistics hub by Air Transport Command. It functioned as a stopover en route to Payne Field near Cairo or to Mellaha Field near Tripoli on the North African Cairo-Dakar transport route for cargo, transiting aircraft and personnel.

A new terminal with a capacity of 5 million passengers was to be developed north of the existing runway at Benina International under a 720 million LYD (€415 million) first-stage contract awarded to Canada's SNC-Lavalin as of 2008. The final cost was estimated at 1.1 billion LYD (€630 million). As with Tripoli International Airport, the new terminal was designed by Aéroports de Paris Engineering. Preliminary work and site preparation had started as of May 2008, but it remains unclear when the terminal will be open for operation.[10] The contract for Benina International Airport included construction of a new international terminal, runway, and apron. The new airport would have been part of an extensive new infrastructure programme being undertaken by the government of Libya throughout the country.

In March 2011 (2011-03), forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi bombed the airport.[11] No damages were reported to facilities.[12]

The airport was closed on 16 May 2014, due to clashes in the area between militias and forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar.[13][14] As of 1 August 2014, international airlines had suspended all flights to Libya.[15] As of 5 August 2015, the airport was closed to passenger traffic.[16]

On 15 July 2017, the airport was reopened for commercial flights after three-years of closure due to fighting in Benghazi.[17]

Military useEdit

According to reporting in Le Monde, French special forces have operated out of Benina airport.[18][19][20]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

Accidents and incidentsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ Airport information for HLLB at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
  2. ^ Airport information for Benina International Airport at Great Circle Mapper.
  3. ^ "Benghazi-Benina Airport". SkyVector. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  4. ^ Saudi Gazette, Libya in Mortal Danger, Editorial, 17 July 2014, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Benina NDB". Our Airports. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Benina VOR". Our Airports. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  7. ^ Later Soluch Air Base
  8. ^ Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  9. ^ "Italian paratroopers attack in Benina airport on June 1943". Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  10. ^ Endress, Gunter (20 May 2008). "Libya to restructure air transport sector". London: Flightglobal. Airline Business. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Libya: Gaddafi forces bomb Benghazi as US indicates no-fly zone support". The Scotsman. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Gaddafi's planes strike around rebel stronghold". Reuters. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013.
  13. ^ 43 killed in Libya clashes, authorities close Benghazi airport Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine RT. 16 May 2014. Accessed 15 July 2014
  14. ^ 90% of aircraft destroyed at Tripoli airport, Libya may seek international assistance Archived 18 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine RT. 15 July 2014.
  15. ^ "International airlines unsure about dates for resuming Libya flights". Libyaherald.com. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  16. ^ al-Warfalli, Ayman. "Libyan government offensive in Benghazi stalls as Islamists dig in". U.S. Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Libya's Benghazi airport opens after three-year closure". Africanews. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  18. ^ Guibert, Nathalie (24 February 2016). "La France mène des opérations secrètes en Libye". Le Monde (in French). Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  19. ^ Stephen, Chris; Willsher, Kim (24 February 2016). "French special forces assisting anti-Isis efforts in Libya, say sources". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018. A small French detachment has been operating from Benghazi’s Benina airport, the sources have reported, assisting forces of the internationally backed Libyan authorities in Tobruk.
  20. ^ Stratfor (10 March 2016). "Satellite Imagery of French Special Operations in Libya". YouTube. Retrieved 29 June 2018. Stratfor Military Analyst Sim Tack explains a series of images revealing security improvements at Benina air base.
  21. ^ "Booking a Flight". Buraq.aero. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ QMFound.com: Lady Be Good Archived 25 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Accident description Aviation Safety Network Archived 25 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine (Original source "ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 59-AN/54 (171-178)) Retrieved 17 August 2015

External linksEdit