Baghdad International Airport is located 16 km west of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, the largest airport in Iraq and was formerly called Saddam International Airport. The airport is the headquarters and hub of Iraqi Airways. The construction of the airport dates back to 1979 and 1982. The construction was done by French and British companies, and was designed for civilian and military use. The airport was repeatedly damaged and bombed. After the Second Gulf War and the imposition of an economic embargo on the country, the airport’s activities stopped altogether except some local flights and charity trips to transport medicines and food to Iraq. The airport was transformed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq into a US military camp, and the airport is currently used by many airlines.
Baghdad International Airport Facilities
Baghdad International Airport has a capacity of about 7.5 million passengers annually, and the airport has three main gates: Babel, Nineveh and Samarra, or gates A, B and C. Nineveh hall for Iraqi air and domestic flights, Babel Hall of Iraqi Airways and international flights, Samarra Hall is dedicated to international airlines. Each of these gates has 6 mobile bridges to connect passengers to airplanes, as well as VIP lounges at the airport for governors and heads of delegations from around the world. All the halls of the Baghdad International Airport have been fully rehabilitated to compete with international airports after the halls were destroyed during the US invasion. The building of the Air Safety Section was inaugurated after its rehabilitation and equipped with equipment and furniture that fit the nature of its work.
A statement issued by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority that the number of passengers through Baghdad International Airport during the year 2015 increased to 2,166,664 passengers, and the number of flights to 25 thousand. Which indicates a significant activity in the air traffic to and from Baghdad. The statement pointed out that this activity in the air traffic to the Iraqi capital Baghdad is due to increased visits by expatriates as well as visits of foreigners to religious places in the country, so there will be a number of development projects at the airport to cope with this growth.
Many international and domestic airlines operate at Baghdad International Airport, and the brands of the airlines operating more frequently are: Iraqi Airways, Al Nasser Suites, Fly Baghdad, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and flydubai, Flights from Baghdad to Amman and from Baghdad to Cairo are the most popular sectors with 21 and 9 weekly flights respectively.
Baghdad International Airport Services
Baghdad International Airport has become a cultural front and a commercial market as well as a tourist place compared to many airports in the world. The airport have a lot of services such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, libraries, malls and markets of all kinds, which attracts passengers and passers through the airports. The airport has recently opened a hub project in airport lounges that provides information to travelers such as their travel and non-flying items. The Airport also opened Baghdad International Media Center to facilitate the task of press journalists and provide them with the opportunity to perform their duties to the fullest, in addition to the provision of several services such as press releases, photographs, videos and others. An automated tracking service was opened through screens inside the airport terminals, allowing passengers to know where they are located and indicating the rest of the airport facilities and the procedures they are supposed to do.