Ercan International Airport

Ercan International Airport (Turkish: Ercan Uluslararası Havalimanı pronounced [æɾˈdʒan uɫusɫaɾaɾaˈsɯ havalimaˈnɯ] Greek: Αεροδρόμιο Τύμπου) (IATA: ECN, ICAO: LCEN)[1] is the primary civilian airport of the unrecognised de facto state of Northern Cyprus. It is located about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) east of Nicosia, near the village of Tymbou. The airport currently only serves flights from and to Turkey, but it is fully compliant with international standards and able to handle direct flights from other destinations in the future.

Ercan International Airport

Ercan Uluslararası Havalimanı
Αεροδρόμιο Τύμπου
Summary
Airport typePrivate
OwnerT&T Ercan Airport
OperatorT&T Ercan Airport
ServesNorthern Cyprus
LocationTymbou (Kırklar)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL403 ft / 123 m
Coordinates35°09′35″N 33°30′00″E / 35.15972°N 33.50000°E / 35.15972; 33.50000
Websitewww.ercanairport.net
Map
ECN/LCEN is located in Cyprus
ECN/LCEN
ECN/LCEN
ECN/LCEN is located in Europe
ECN/LCEN
ECN/LCEN
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 9,038 3,200 Asphalt
Statistics
Yearly Passengers870,000 (2022)[2]
Monthly Aircraft1646 (2012) Increase[3]

History

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Check-in area at the old terminal

The precursor of Ercan Airport, Tymvou Airport, was constructed by the British in World War II as a military airport, during their colonial rule of the island. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the partition of the island, it was occupied by the Turkish army, and today it is used as the main civilian airport of Northern Cyprus.

It is named for Fehmi Ercan [tr].[4] A new terminal and an extended runway to 3200 meters opened on 20 July 2023.[5]

Since 2006, the rule which stipulates that flights are required to touch down at a Turkish airport before continuing to and from Ercan has been under discussion. In 2006, the Turkish government began discussions for Northern Cyprus's main port Famagusta, and main civilian airport Ercan, to be able to operate direct connections, with the UK government describing it as a "significant and creative offer".[6]

However, as of 2017, the rule still applies, and Ercan airport has seen a decrease in customers,[7] as a result of new tight security measures imposed by the UK Department for Transport questioning the status of the airport and forcing passengers travelling between Britain and Northern Cyprus to disembark with their luggage and go through a fresh security check in Turkey in order to board a new aircraft for their final destination.[7]

Recent plans have arisen to privatise Ercan Airport, as well as plans to enlarge the airport in order to increase capacity. Ercan Airport currently has a 2,755 metres (9,039 ft) long runway and an apron with a capacity of seven aircraft. Although the runway is long enough for large planes to land, it is not long enough for take-offs. The plan has been for the construction of a new runway of 3,200 metres (10,500 ft) and extension of the existing runway to 3200m, apron and terminal building and with the planned new apron more than doubling the current plane capacity.[8] As of 2021, the new terminal is currently under construction. It will be much larger than the existing airport and will have 9 airbridges.[9]

The new terminal was due to open in the spring of 2023 but the opening was delayed.[10] It will be fully compliant with international standards and will be able to handle direct flights in the future.[11][12][13]

Airlines and destinations

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International status

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Flights to the airport are banned internationally due to the ongoing Cyprus dispute.[14] Non-stop flights only take place from Turkey, and all planes that fly to Northern Cyprus from other countries have to stop over in Turkey.[15] Because of these difficulties and inconveniences, the majority of Turkish Cypriots with Republic of Cyprus passports prefer to use Larnaca International Airport, which is located in the territory under the control of the internationally recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus; this option is not available, however, to Turkish citizens.[7][16] However, several Turkish airlines operate direct flights from Ercan to Europe with intermediate stops in Turkey via some of the destinations listed below.[14][15] The Government of the Republic of Cyprus considers the use of Ercan Airport to exit or enter the island illegal.

Overview

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AirlinesDestinations
AJet[17] Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Gaziantep, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Izmir, Trabzon[18]
Fly Kıbrıs Airlines Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir
Seasonal: Bodrum
Pegasus Airlines Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Gaziantep, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Izmir, Kayseri[19]
SunExpress[20] Izmir
Turkish Airlines Antalya, Istanbul

Statistics

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Annual passenger traffic at ECN airport. See Wikidata query.

References

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  1. ^ a b "LCEN" in widespread use, including by the ICAO (e.g. here Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine) and FAA (e.g. here Archived 27 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine), however the code does not appear in an official ICAO List Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine[failed verification].
  2. ^ "Opening of new airport in north delayed yet again | Cyprus Mail". 13 November 2022.
  3. ^ AB Haber News Site (link to the news article)
  4. ^ Türkiye's gateway to TNRC: The new Nicosia Ercan International Airport, Turkish Airlines Blog
  5. ^ "KKTC Cumhurbaşkanlığı - Ercan Havalimanı Yeni Terminal ve Pisti'nin açılış töreninde konuşan Cumhurbaşkanı Tatar uluslararası camiaya seslendi". Archived from the original on 31 July 2023.
  6. ^ "Turkey "will open up to Cyprus"". BBC News. 7 December 2006. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  7. ^ a b c "Larnaca Airport bookings soar at expense of Ercan following UK air embargo – T-VINE". Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Northern Cyprus airport for sale". Hurriyet. 27 December 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  9. ^ "North Cyprus International Ercan Airport Upgrade Project". 25 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Further delay for new terminal at airport in north | Cyprus Mail". 18 April 2023.
  11. ^ "North Cyprus News | Opening New Ercan Terminal Slated for 15 November". 2 September 2021.
  12. ^ "NEW ERCAN AIRPORT WILL TAKE DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM EUROPE | Talat Kürşat". 18 December 2019.
  13. ^ ""Havalimanı'nın 15 Kasım'da açılabilmesi için gece-gündüz çalışılıyor"".
  14. ^ a b Güsten, Susanne (16 February 2014). "Students Flock to Universities in Northern Cyprus". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Europe diary: Island isolation". BBC. 8 December 2006. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Larnaka, İstanbul'a bile Ercan'dan ucuzken". Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Flight network". anadolujet.com.
  18. ^ "Ercan-Trabzon seferleri başlıyor" [Ercan-Trabzon flights start] (in Turkish). 18 December 2022. Archived from the original on 6 January 2023. Retrieved 1 November 2023.
  19. ^ "News for Airlines, Airports and the Aviation Industry | CAPA".
  20. ^ Liu, Jim. "SunExpress S20 new routes as of 23DEC19". Routesonline. Archived from the original on 24 December 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
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