Baghdad International Airport

Coordinates: 33°15′45″N 44°14′04″E / 33.26250°N 44.23444°E / 33.26250; 44.23444
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Baghdad International Airport

مطار بغداد الدولي

Maṭār Baġdād ad-Dawaliyy
Baghdad International Airport in September 2007
Airport typePublic / Military
OperatorIraqi Government
LocationBaghdad, Iraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL114 ft / 35 m
Coordinates33°15′45″N 44°14′04″E / 33.26250°N 44.23444°E / 33.26250; 44.23444
BGW is located in Iraq
Location of airport in Iraq
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 10,830 3,301 Concrete
15L/33R 13,123 4,000 Concrete
Statistics (2009)
Total passengersIncrease 7,500,000 (estimate)
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Baghdad International Airport (IATA: BGW, ICAO: ORBI), previously Saddam International Airport from 1982 to 2003, (IATA: SDA, ICAO: ORBS) (Arabic: مطار بغداد الدولي, romanizedMaṭār Baġdād ad-Dawaliyy) is Iraq's largest international 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 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 1982. It opened as Saddam International Airport, bearing the name of then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.[3]


Most of Baghdad's civilian flights stopped in 1991, when the United Nations imposed restrictions on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. After the Persian Gulf War, a no-fly zone imposed on Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom meant that 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.

2003–2005 (U.S. occupation)[edit]

Inside view of a terminal in 2003, showing a nonfunctional FIDS (note the red and white icon for the long-defunct East German airline Interflug on the fourth row from the bottom), in front of empty check-in desks and passport control

In April 2003, U.S.-led Coalition 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 had previously referred to all Baghdad airports, and before that to Al Muthana Airport when Saddam was in power.

Babylon Terminal, Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq

Civilian control of the airport was returned to the Iraqi Government from the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2004.


Sather Air Base came under periodic rocket fire from Baghdad. On 6 December 2006, a 107mm rocket attack landed 30 yards (27.5 meters) from a parked C-5A aircraft, puncturing it with scores of shrapnel holes.

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

Baghdad Airport Road, connecting the airport to the Green Zone, once a dangerous route full of IEDs, was refurbished with palm trees, manicured lawns, and a fountain, with Turkish assistance.[4]

Military use[edit]

A separate enclave within the airport houses the New Al Muthana Air Base, where the Iraqi Air Force's 23rd Squadron is based, operating three Lockheed C-130E Hercules transport aircraft. The base is also home to a number of Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft.[5]

Sather Air Base, or Camp Sather, was a United States Air Force base on the west side of the airport from 2003 to 2011. 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 U.S. invasion.[citation needed]

Airport developments[edit]

On 18 May 2010, plans were unveiled for an expansion of Baghdad International Airport, doubling its capacity to 15 million passengers per year. The expansion, to be funded by foreign investors, was to include construction of three new terminals and refurbishment of the existing three, each of which would accommodate 2.5 million passengers annually.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Arabia Abu Dhabi,[7] Sharjah
AJet Ankara,[8] Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen[9]
ATA Airlines Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku[10]
Caspian Airlines Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus
Egyptair Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
FlyArnaYerevan (suspended)[11]
flydubai Dubai–International[12]
Gulf Air Bahrain
Iran Airtour Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Iran Aseman Airlines Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Iraqi Airways Abu Dhabi, Ahmedabad, Amman–Queen Alia, Ankara, Antalya, Baku, Basra, Beijing–Capital,[13] Beirut, Berlin, Cairo, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dubai–International, Düsseldorf,[14] Erbil, Frankfurt, Guangzhou,[15] Isfahan, Islamabad, Istanbul, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Karachi, Kirkuk, Kuala Lumpur–International,[16] Kuwait City, Mashhad, Moscow–Vnukovo,[17] Mumbai, Munich, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Samsun, Sulaimaniyah, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Seasonal: Hurghada,[18] Jeddah, Medina, Sharm El Sheikh, Trabzon
Jordan Aviation Amman–Queen Alia
Mahan Air Kerman, Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Meraj Airlines Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Nile Air Cairo
Seasonal: Sharm El Sheikh[19]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia[20]
SalamAir Muscat[21]
Sepehran Airlines Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Syrian AirDamascus
Taban Air Mashhad, Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Turkish Airlines Istanbul[22]
Seasonal: Antalya
UR Airlines[23] Ankara, Antalya, Beirut, Damascus, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Samsun
Zagros Airlines Tehran–Imam Khomeini


Aerial view of Baghdad International Airport
Coyne Airways Dubai-International[24]
EgyptAir Cargo Cairo[25]
Silk Way Airlines Baku[26]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Airport information for ORBI". World Aero Data. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link) Data current as of October 2006. Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for SDA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
  3. ^ Technology Transfer to the Middle East: Summary. DIANE Publishing. 1984. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-4289-2383-6.
  4. ^ Arango, Tim (20 November 2014). "Amid Mutual Suspicion, Turkish Premier Visits Iraq". The New York Times Company. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  5. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. August 2014. p. 22.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Air Arabia Abu Dhabi launches new direct flights to two cities in Iraq".
  8. ^ "Turkish Airlines adds Ankara – Baghdad service in S19". Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  9. ^ Liu, Jim. "Turkish Airlines confirms AnadoluJet network transition from late-March 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  10. ^ "AZERBAIJAN AIRLINES RESUMES BAGHDAD SERVICE FROM LATE-DEC 2023". AeroRoutes. 4 December 2023. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  11. ^ Sipinski, Dominik (18 January 2024). "Armenia's FlyArna suspends flight operations". ch-aviation. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  12. ^ a b Fahim, Kareem (27 January 2015). "Airlines Suspend Flights to Iraq's Baghdad Airport After Jet Is Hit by Gunfire". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Iraqi Airways Plans Beijing May 2024 Launch". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  14. ^ "Iraqi Airways Resumes Dusseldorf Service from Nov 2023". AeroRoutes. 2 November 2023. Retrieved 2 November 2023.
  15. ^ "Iraqi Airways to Resume Guangzhou Service in 4Q23". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  16. ^ "Iraqi Airways Resumes Kuala Lumpur From Feb 2024".
  17. ^ Liu, Jim (11 October 2017). "Iraqi Airways Germany / Russia service changes from Oct 2017". Routesonline. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Iraqi Airways files Hurghada / Trabzon schedules from July 2019". 16 July 2019. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Nile Air schedules Baghdad charters from July 2019". 27 June 2019. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Gulf Air and Royal Jordanian suspend service to Iraq amid regional tensions".
  21. ^ "SalamAir launches flights to Baghdad". Oman Observer. 2 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  22. ^ "Istanbul New Airport Transition Delayed Until April 5, 2019 (At The Earliest)". Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  23. ^ Liu, Jim. "UR Airlines files S20 network". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  24. ^ - Gulf Schedule Archived 4 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 24 November 2019
  25. ^ "Dnata scoops new Egyptair Cargo handling deal in Dubai ǀ Air Cargo News". DVV Media International. 30 May 2018. Archived from the original on 4 June 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  26. ^ - Our network Archived 3 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 24 November 2019
  27. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 777-268 HZ-AKH Baghdad".
  28. ^ "The opinion pollsters who dodged mortar fire and militias". BBC News. 5 June 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Boeing Hit by Gunfire in Baghdad". Airliner World: 83. March 2015.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "US kills powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad airstrike". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  32. ^ Crowley, Michael; Hassan, Falih; Schmitt, Eric (2 January 2020). "U.S. Strike in Iraq Kills Qassim Suleimani, Commander of Iranian Forces". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Baghdad International Airport at Wikimedia Commons