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Not to be confused with Bagdad Airport.
Baghdad International Airport
مطار بغداد الدولي
Matar Baġdād ad-Dowaly


BGW is located in Iraq
Location of airport in Iraq
Airport type Public / Military
Operator Iraqi Government
Location Baghdad, Iraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 114 ft / 35 m
Coordinates 33°15′45″N 044°14′04″E / 33.26250°N 44.23444°E / 33.26250; 44.23444
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 10,830 3,301 Concrete
15L/33R 13,124 4,000 Concrete
Statistics (2009)
Total passengers Increase 7,500,000 (estimate)
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Baghdad International Airport (IATA: BGWICAO: ORBI) (Arabic: مطار بغداد الدولي‎) [Previously Saddam International Airport (IATA: SDAICAO: ORBS)] is Iraq's largest 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.



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 1987. The airport at the time was opened as Saddam International Airport, bearing the name of the then-president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.[3]


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.


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 forces invaded Iraq and changed the airport's name 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.


The current entrance to Baghdad International Airport, 2007

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

Baghdad Airport Road, connecting the airport with 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.[4]

Military use[edit]

Within the airport there is a separate enclave called the New Al Muthana Air Base where No. 23 Squadron IqAF is based with three Lockheed C-130E Hercules transport aircraft[citation needed] and the home to a number of Sukhoi Su-25's.[5]

Sather Air Base or Camp Sather was a United States Air Force base on the west side of the airport. 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]

Airline service[edit]

  • The airport officially reverted to civilian control on 25 August 2004. Iraqi Airways resumed regular flights, and courier carriers also began flights.
  • On 9 October 2009, Middle East Airlines announced flights to Beirut from Baghdad. Flights will operate 4x weekly from 29 October and soon after upgraded to daily service. They will use Airbus A320 aircraft for the flights.
  • On 7 June 2012, Qatar Airways launched direct flights from Doha, four times a week.
  • On 6 March 2013, Iraqi Airways resumed direct flights from Gatwick Airport to Baghdad International Airport, flights will operate twice a week. This comes after a 23-year hiatus.

Expansion plans[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.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

A flying carpet sculpture on the wall at BIAP. (2011)


Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai-International (suspended)
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai-International
Georgian Airways Tbilisi[8]
Gulf Air Bahrain
Iran Air Birjand, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz [9]
Iraqi Airways Amman-Queen Alia, Ankara, Basra, Beijing-Capital,[10] Beirut, Cairo, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dubai-International, Erbil, Frankfurt, Guangzhou,[11] Isfahan, Istanbul-Atatürk, Kuala Lumpur, Kutaisi, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Mashhad, Mumbai, Najaf, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sulaymaniyah, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Vienna, Yerevan
Mahan Air Isfahan, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Meraj Airlines Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Mashhad, Kermanshah
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Nile Air Cairo
Qatar Airways Doha
Qeshm Airlines Isfahan
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen (begins 25 October 2015),[12] Antalya Airport
Zagros Airlines Isfahan, Tehran-Imam Khomeini


Airlines Destinations
Click Airways Erbil, Sharjah
Coyne Airways Dubai-International
SNAS/DHL Bahrain
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
FitsAir Dubai-International
RUS Aviation Sharjah
Silk Way Airlines Baku

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 22 November 2003, a European Air Transport Airbus A300B4 freighter, registered OO-DLL, operating on behalf of DHL Aviation, was hit by an SA-14 'Grail' missile shortly after take-off. The airplane lost hydraulic pressure and thus the controls. After extending the landing gear to create more drag, the crew piloted the plane using differences in engine thrust and landed the plane with minimal further damage. All 3 crew survived. Civilians planes routinely perform corkscrew landings to minimise the risk of damage from surface weapons.[13]
  • On 26 January 2015, a flydubai Boeing 737-800 on a Dubai to Baghdad service, was hit by small arms fire on approach to Baghdad International Airport with 154 passengers on board. The plane landed safely.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for ORBI at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for SDA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ Technology transfer to the Middle East. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Arango, Tim (20 November 2014). "Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq". New York Times Company. New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  5. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. August 2014. p. 22. 
  6. ^ "Etihad to start flights to Iraq". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ One flight every Monday as of May 2014,http://www.airzena.com/?l=E&m=1&sm=3
  9. ^ http://www.iranair.com/Portal/Home/ShowPage.aspx?Object=NEWS&CategoryID=15908aa6-3bea-4767-a6f6-d6c956fe8747&WebPartID=4faa9599-bc24-42b2-8f38-3437543bd07e&ID=44e9617d-d777-453f-ab3b-7dbaf0dcf86e
  10. ^ الخطوط الجوية العراقية. "الخطوط الجوية العراقية". Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Iraqi Airways updates China Service from late-September 2014". Airlineroute.net. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  12. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2015/07/06/tk-sawbgw-w15/
  13. ^ "The opinion pollsters who dodged mortar fire and militias". BBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Boeing Hit by Gunfire in Baghdad". Airliner World: 83. March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Baghdad International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_International_Airport — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1408 news items

Yahoo News

Yahoo News
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 01:01:00 -0700

Baghdad (AFP) - Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said during his first visit to Baghdad Thursday that the United States was willing to do more to help Iraq defeat the Islamic State group. Related Stories. Pentagon chief hails peshmerga as model for Iraq ...
American Thinker
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 23:28:40 -0700

... Vienna, elements of the Iranian regime in the Iraqi government ratcheted up repressive measures against Camp Liberty, an obsolete U.S. military compound in the adjacency of the Baghdad International Airport which houses thousands of Iranian refugees.

The National

New York Times
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 03:02:28 -0800

BAGHDAD — A commercial jet carrying 154 passengers was struck by gunfire as it landed at Baghdad International Airport, officials said Tuesday, adding to fears that Iraq's most important transportation hub remains vulnerable to militant attacks.
Los Angeles Times
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:00:00 -0700

James Terry as he arrives at Baghdad International Airport. Carter is on a weeklong tour of the Middle East focused on reassuring allies about Iran and assessing progress in the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.


Sat, 11 Jul 2015 10:13:33 -0700

In October 2003, just after I took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Middle East, I inspected the intelligence facilities at our small base at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). As I walked around asking questions and getting ...

CBS News

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Fri, 10 Oct 2014 03:30:41 -0700

BAGHDAD -- Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have infiltrated one of Baghdad's outer suburbs, Abu Ghraib which is only eight miles from the runway perimeter of Baghdad's international airport. It's cause for serious concern now ...


Sun, 19 Jul 2015 08:11:15 -0700

Camp Liberty, located near Baghdad International Airport, is home to members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, PMOI (or Mujahadeen-e-Khalq, MEK) who have been recognized by the United Nations as 'asylum seekers' and 'people of ...

Daily News & Analysis

Daily News & Analysis
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 09:30:44 -0800

The blast occurred at a security checkpoint close to a parking lot, where passengers are searched before boarding airport taxis. Car-blast-in-Baghdad Car blast in Baghdad. A car bomb exploded on the perimeter of Baghdad's heavily guarded international ...

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