Egypt opened a new international airport on a one-month trial basis to service the city which will become the country’s new capital.
Capital International Airport is 70 km east of Cairo and is intended to relieve pressure on Cairo International Airport. A third airport, near the Giza Pyramids west of Cairo, the Sphinx International Airport, opened in January.
“The importance of Capital Airport is it eases pressure on Cairo International and Sphinx airports,” Aviation Minister Younis Al-Masry told reporters after a flight left Cairo and landed at the new airport.
“It will be a new outlet for Cairo specifically,” he said, adding the airport would serve areas east of the capital including cities along the Suez Canal.
Workers are rushing to build core areas of the new capital city that will be the seat of Egypt government, away from bustling Cairo that has become a traffic-clogged, urban sprawl of more than 20 million people.
Capital International Airport will operate with an hourly capacity of 300 passengers during the trial phase, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority, Sameh al-Hefni, said.
The new airports, at opposite ends of Cairo, will help boost tourism, a key sector in Egypt and a major source of foreign revenue.
The sector has been gradually recovering from political turmoil and security problems following the “Arab Spring” of 2011.
Capital International Airport will service east of Cairo, Sphinx International Airport provides access to the west, where the new Grand Egyptian Museum is due to open next year.