Cairo international airport is one of the nosiest and largest airports in Egypt and Africa, it serves as the main hub for the airlines of Egypt Air, Egypt Air express and Nile Air plus various others. The airport is located in the city of Heliopolis in the northeast of Cairo around 15 km "9.3 mi" for the city's business area and the airport is about 37 sq km "14 sq mi". It is known for being the second busiest airport in Africa after the O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa Johannesburg.
The history of the Cairo airport goes back to times of the WWII when the united states army air forces built the Payne airfield which is located 5 km "3.1 mi" away from north-eastern Cairo to serve the allied forces as an air transport command air cargo and passenger hub across the north and west of Africa. When the American forces left the base at the end of the war, the civil aviation authority took over the facility and started using it for international civil aviation but in 1963 the Cairo international airport was born to replace the old one. The newly founded airport is under the administration of the Egyptian holding company for airports and air navigation that controls Cairo airport company, the national air navigation service, the Egyptian airport company, and aviation information technology.
The airport terminal is a building where the passengers' shifts between ground transportation and facilities that allow them to board and get off the aircraft, also it is the place where the passengers purchase tickets, transfer their luggage and go through security. The airport has 4 terminals, the third terminal which is the largest opened on 27 April 2009, terminal two reopened on 28 September 2016 after renovation works. In 2010 a third parallel runway replaced the crossing runway. The terminal facilities include the departure hall 1, the international hall 3 and hall 4 which are used for private and non-commercial aircraft services. Terminal 1 is known as the Old Airport even after given a complete overhaul recently and terminal 2 is known as the New Airport.
Terminal one was used by EgyptAir and several middle eastern airlines, but in 2006 a number of foreign carriers like Air France and KLM transferred operations from terminal 2. It has 12 gates, an array of services and entertainment facilities to travelers. In 2010 with the renovation works all the non-star airlines moved to the terminal. All the departure and arrivals of all the airlines are departing from Terminal 1 Hall 1 with the exception of Saudia which is the sole tenant of Hall 2 of terminal 1 because the Saudia visitors account for 65% of terminal 2's traffic in 2009. Hall 3 is the arrival of most international airlines and the airmail. Hall 4 is dedicated to private jet services and operates independently of the commercial passenger terminal.
Terminal 2 serves European, Gulf and East Asain airlines. The terminal was under renovations for 3 years from 2012 to 2015, it was officially opened in February 2017 when the Saudi Arabian airlines launched their first international flight from terminal 2. The terminal is 1.500 sq m and is able to hold 30 million passengers annually. The terminal has 14 gates and an additional 5 remote stands.
Terminal 3 is the biggest terminal in the airport, it was opened in 2009 with the capacity to handle 11 million passengers annually, six million international and five domestic. Terminal three has 23 gates, 76 immigration counter, 7 baggage carousels, 50 moving walkways and the retails space covers more than 5,000 sqm. It is connected by a bridge to terminal two. Terminal's three landside roads include bridge and fly- over serving the traffic to and from the main terminal building. It holds a multi-story parking garage capable of holding more than 3000 cars. Next to it is the 350 room luxury five-star Le Meridien hotel which is linked to the terminal by 230 m (750 ft) long skyway.
In 2011 the seasonal flight terminal was opened west of terminal 3, it has the capacity of 3.2 million passengers with 27 check-in counters and 7 gates with a common gate and single security concept, the first of its kind in Cairo. It handles 1200 passengers per hour.
One of the terminal transfers is the mini metro people mover which links three terminals, the AirMall. It is located between terminal 2 and three. The mini metro is an air-cushioned 1.85 km (1.15 mi) system with a top- speed of 50 km/h "31 mph". Upon arrival, there are many ways to leave the airport by limousine, shuttle bus, taxi or ant means of a public bus.
There are things every traveler needs to know before leading at Cairo international airport such as filling your arrival card which will be handed to you by the flight attendants. Follow the luggage claim will take you straight to the immigration hall. If you need to buy your visa which will cost about (25 $) or the equivalent amount in Euro which are both acceptable, then you should head to the counter of the bank located just next to the passport control office. When you have the vise stick to an empty page of your passport then processed to police immigration control with the landing card you filled previously so you can pass the police control. You will then head to the conveyer belt collect your luggage and exit through the arrival hall where you will find our employee carrying a sign with your name on it, then head to your A.C private car where you will begin your chosen tour.
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