Erbil International Airport (IATA: EBL, ICAO: ORER), is the main airport of Erbil city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). It is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and is one of two international airports in the KRG. The new modern airport opened its doors in 2010. At 4,800m, the airport has one of the longest runways in the world.
The Airport is operated under the rules and regulations set by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authorities (ICAA).
Airport Location and Contact
Province or District
Nearest Town or City
318º, 3.7 NM from Erbil
Airport’s Complete Name
Erbil International Airport
Elevation (ft and m)
1,363 ft/ 415 m
Managing Company or Airport Authority
|0000H - 2400H|
In EIA, there are three cargo agents (Starlight, MATEEN, DHL) and two cargo handling companies (DNATA Aviation and Sky Link Aviation). DNATA now operates the new cargo terminal. Sky Link Aviation, which deals with the passenger cargo (or belly cargo) of Austrian Airlines, use the old cargo terminal.
For more information on airport contacts, please see the following link: 4.5 Iraq Airport Company Contact List
Information on some aviation service providers can be found at: http://www.azfreight.com/
Passenger and Cargo Performance Indicator
Erbil’s cargo area is separated into two areas. The New Cargo Terminal (NCT) is adjacent to the cargo ramp and the Old Cargo Terminal (OCT) is approx. 1.5km away via airport landside roads. Neither has sufficient storage space to cater for larger amounts of humanitarian cargo. Also in both terminals only very limited capacity for cool freight is available.
For ongoing operations, NCT is used only to breakdown aircraft pallets or containers and security checks by x-ray and K9. Freight is then transferred to the OCT for storage and customs clearance until released to the customer. Dnata owns a 4 MT chiller truck for transferring perishable cargo between NCT – OCT.
The annual handling capacity of the old cargo terminal is approximately 15,500 tons. The terminal is divided into two sectors; one sector is used by MATEEN, and the other sector by Starlight and DHL. The new cargo terminal, operated by DNATA, is located approximately 1.5km from the old terminal (Austrian Airlines), and is approximately two-thirds of the size of the old terminal.
Performance for 2013
Total Aircraft Movements
Total Capacity of the Airport (MT)
Current Activity of the Airport (MT)
Current use by Humanitarian Flights (UNHAS)
The airport area can be reached via one main entrance road. A second entry is currently under development via the unfinished 120m Road. Access to the airport is controlled which can at times cause delays. Primary streets to the passenger terminal and the new cargo terminal (NCT) are in good condition while the secondary roads, including the access road to the old cargo terminal (OCT), have degraded over time.
Both runways are operational and in good shape.
4,800m x 75m
2,800m x 30m
There are two main helicopter landing pads. They are both made of asphalt and both are operational and well maintained. Airport authorities should be contacted to coordinate use of the helipad (see 4.5 Iraq Airport Company Contact List).
Largest Helicopter that can Land
Width and Length (m)
Largest Helicopter That Can Land
Width and Length (m)
Airport Infrastructure Details
JET A-1 fuel
Single Point Refueling
Air Starter Units
Ground Power (mobile)
Pax Transport to Airfield
Ground Handling Services
Fire Fighting Category (ICAO)
Base Operating Room
Parking Ramp Lighting
Approach & Runway Lights
Airport Operating Details
- EBL can technically receive any type of aircraft. Certain restrictions are imposed by ICAA on the use of older built aircraft in Iraqi airspace.
- At the time of this assessment (August 2016), one taxiway section adjacent the passenger ramp was closed for maintenance works. Closures will be advised well in advance by Notice To Airmen (NOTAM).
- For freighter aircraft, five aircraft stands are located at the cargo ramp. With stands permanently assigned to specific aircraft, only two stands remain available at any given time.
- Due to the length of the aircraft stands on the cargo ramp, and not to interfere with the airside road traffic, special procedures apply for aircraft with nose or tail loading like B74F NCD.
Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Bulk Cargo
Virtually any size
Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Pallet
Virtually any size
Total Aircraft Parking Area (m²)
Storage Area (m3 and MT)
Elevators / Hi Loaders
Max Capacity (MT)
Due to the current discussions regarding the development of the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) solution[AH1] , no further research into this matter has been conducted. The OSS is intended to facilitate the humanitarian response in KRI and elsewhere in Iraq by enhancing the customs clearance process and reducing the time required for clearance by half, and it will be available to all humanitarian partners. Assuming the OSS is in place and working, cargo could be collected directly at the NCT for transport to any hub. Next to the NCT is an unused building once planned as new customs post, which could potentially be rehabilitated and used for the OSS.
For more information on customs in Iraq see the following link: 1.3 Iraq Customs Information
Erbil Airport does not have sufficient storage capacity available for larger numbers of humanitarian cargo consignments. There is a significant amount of open space within the airport, however there were indications that the erection of any kind of hub will not be allowed on airport grounds.
Establishing a base outside the airport area should be considered with easy access to/from the airport as well as major public roads. For transport of goods from the airport, dedicated trucks and drivers would be required for the airport operations / shuttle service which may need prior clearance from airport security.
1 x 1300m2 import, used as breakdown and security control warehouse, not for storage
1 x 1300m2 export, used for ULD buildup and security control warehouse
1 x 2500m2 used for storage with 9 line x 3 level racks 27m length
1 x 2500m2 used for customs inspection and delivery
The Cool /chiller storages as below
2 x 45cbm chiller storages 4-8°C
2 x 45CBM cool room up to 25°C
4 x 40’ HC shipping containers chiller storages 4-8°C
1 x 40’ ST shipping container chiller storages 4-8°C
1 x 20’ ST shipping container frozen -17°C
Standard pricelists for aircraft and cargo related charges have been shared with the Logistics Cluster From both the Airport Authorities as well as Dnata. If the airport is notified in advance about the incoming humanitarian flight, the authorities could potentially waive their charges, while Dnata (a commercial private company) will expect all fees to be paid.