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Baghdad International Airport

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Baghdad International Airport

مطار بغداد الدولي

Maṭār Baġdād ad-Dawaliyy
Baghdad International Airport.jpg
Airport typePublic / Military
OperatorIraqi Government
LocationBaghdad, Iraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL114 ft / 35 m
Coordinates33°15′45″N 44°14′04″E / 33.26250°N 44.23444°E / 33.26250; 44.23444Coordinates: 33°15′45″N 44°14′04″E / 33.26250°N 44.23444°E / 33.26250; 44.23444
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Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 10,830 3,301 Concrete
15L/33R 13,123 4,000 Concrete
Statistics (2009)
Total passengersIncrease 7,500,000 (estimate)
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Baghdad International Airport (IATA: BGW, ICAO: ORBI), previously Saddam International Airport (IATA: SDA, ICAO: ORBS) (Arabic: مطار بغداد الدولي‎, romanized: Maṭār Baġdād ad-Dawaliyy), is Iraq's largest international airport, located in a suburb about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate. It is the home base for Iraq's national airline, Iraqi Airways.

History[edit source | edit]

Pre-1982[edit source | edit]

The present airport was developed under a consortium led by French company, Spie Batignolles, under an agreement made in 1979. The Iran/Iraq war delayed full opening of the airport until 1982. The airport at the time was opened as Saddam International Airport, bearing the name of the then Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein.[3]

1982–2003[edit source | edit]

Most of Baghdad's civil flights stopped in 1991, when the United Nations imposed restrictions on Iraq after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. Because of the no-fly zone imposed on Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom, Iraqi Airways was only able to continue domestic flights for limited periods. Internationally, Baghdad was able to receive occasional charter flights carrying medicine, aid workers, and government officials. Royal Jordanian Airlines operated regular flights from Amman to Baghdad.

2003–2005[edit source | edit]

Inside view of the terminal in 2003, showing an abandoned and nonfunctional FIDS (note the red and white icon for the long-defunct East German airline Interflug in the fourth row from the bottom), in front of empty check-in desks and passport control

In April 2003, US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq and changed the airport's name from Saddam International Airport to Baghdad International Airport. The ICAO code for the airport consequently changed from ORBS to ORBI; the IATA code subsequently switched from SDA to BGW, which previously referred to all Baghdad airports and before that to Al Muthana Airport when Saddam was in power.

Civilian control of the airport was returned to the Iraqi Government in 2004.

2005–present[edit source | edit]

Sather Air Base came under fire from periodic rocket attacks from Baghdad. On 6 December 2006 a 107 rocket attack landed 30 yards (meters) from a parked C-5A aircraft placing scores of shrapnel holes in the aircraft.

Terminal C has been refreshed with three active gate areas for carriers operating from the airport.

In January 2015, a FlyDubai jet carrying 154 passengers was struck by gunfire as it landed at the airport. One passenger was injured when at least three bullets struck the plane. After the incident, UAE carriers FlyDubai and Emirates suspended their flights from Dubai to Baghdad. Flights by Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian were also temporarily suspended.[4]

Baghdad Airport Road, connecting to the Green Zone, which was once a dangerous route full of IEDs, has been refurbished with palm trees, manicured lawns, and a fountain, with Turkish assistance.[5]

On 3 January 2020, a U.S. drone strike killed Qasem Soleimani, leader of Iran's Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, as their convoy left the airport on Baghdad Airport Road.[6][7][8]

Military use[edit source | edit]

Within the airport there is a separate enclave called the New Al Muthana Air Base where the Iraqi Air Force's 23rd Squadron is based with three Lockheed C-130E Hercules transport aircraft.[citation needed] It is also home to a number of Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot"s.[9]

Sather Air Base or Camp Sather was a United States Air Force base on the west side of the airport occupied from 2003 to 2011 during the Iraq War. It was named in memory of Combat Controller Staff Sergeant Scott Sather, the first enlisted Airman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sather was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his leadership of a 24th Special Tactics Squadron reconnaissance task force during the initial stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Airport developments[edit source | edit]

On 18 May 2010, plans were unveiled for an expansion of Baghdad International Airport, which will double its capacity to 15 million passengers per year. The expansion, to be funded by foreign investors, will include the construction of three new terminals and the refurbishment of the existing three terminals, which will each accommodate 2.5 million passengers annually.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit source | edit]

Passenger[edit source | edit]


Cargo[edit source | edit]

Aerial view of Baghdad International Airport
A flying carpet sculpture on the wall at BIAP. (2011)


Incidents and accidents[edit source | edit]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. Template:WAD
  2. Template:GCM
  3. Technology Transfer to the Middle East: Summary. DIANE Publishing. 1984. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-4289-2383-6.
  4. Cite error: The named reference auto was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. Arango, Tim (20 November 2014). "Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq". The New York Times Company. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Crowley, Michael; Hassan, Falih; Schmitt, Eric (2 January 2020). "U.S. Strike in Iraq Kills Qassim Suleimani, Commander of Iranian Forces". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  9. AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. August 2014. p. 22.
  10. http://logisticsweek.com/air/2010/05/baghdad-airport-unveils-plans-for-terminal-expansion/[dead link]
  11. Roberts, Katherine; Freudenheim, Milt; Clarity, James F. (28 December 1986). "THE WORLD; 62 Are Killed In Hijacking Of Iraqi Jetliner". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  12. "The opinion pollsters who dodged mortar fire and militias". BBC News. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. "Boeing Hit by Gunfire in Baghdad". Airliner World: 83. March 2015.
  14. Cohen, Zachary; Alkhshali, Hamdi; Khadder, Kareem; Dewan, Angela (4 January 2020). Almasy, Steve; Roth, Richard; Diamond, Jeremy; Walsh, Nick Paton; LeBlanc, Paul; Robertson, Nic; Collins, Kaitlan; Basil, Yousuf; Hansler, Jennifer (eds.). "US drone strike ordered by Trump kills top Iranian commander in Baghdad". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2020.

External links[edit source | edit]

Media related to Baghdad International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

Template:Airports in Iraq

Visibility[edit source | edit]

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