FILE – Minister of Civil Aviation Sharif Fathi
CAIRO – 20 December 2017: The experimental operation of Egypt’s new Sphinx International Airport (SPX) on the outskirts of the capital Cairo is set to be launched next January, Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathy told the House of Representatives’ Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee on Wednesday.
In his testimony on the anticipated opening of five airports across the nation and the ministry’s plan to prepare those airports to receive the resumed Russian flights, the minister said that upon the analyzing the experimental operation, we will determine the readiness of the SPX, which is located in west Cairo on the 45th km on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road in Giza, is ready for air navigation.
The minister denied the closure of Taba airport, saying that the airport witnessed low number of passengers and flights in the past few months; however, it is fully prepared to receive international and local flights.
“Regarding the other three airports, the Bardawil Airport in central Sinai and Bernice Airport in the South of the Red Sea, those are dedicated to serve the local area,” Fathy testified before the committee on Wednesday. He added that the ministry is waiting for the completeness of establishing the Administrative Capital to build its airport.
On the resumption of the Russian flights in next February, Fathy said: “We have informed the airlines to get ready and settle their situation,” he added: “We agreed to meet again in April with the Russian side to discuss charter flights to Hurghada and Sharm El–Sheikh.”
On December 18, Parliament’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee held a meeting headed by MP Sahar Talaat Mostafa to listen to the Minister of civil Aviation about developing airports.
The meeting discussed the ministry’s efforts in operating and developing Egyptian airports and achieving balance and integration of the air traffic between all airports.
Last week, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov announced that Cairo International Airport has met the requirements of the Russian aviation security, which paves the way for the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt.
Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov in Moscow on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 - Press photo
Flights between the two countries were halted in 2015 after a Russian passenger jet crashed in Sinai, killing all 224 people onboard.
The remains of a Russian airliner are inspected by military investigators at the crash site at the al-Hasanah area in El Arish city, north Egypt, November 1, 2015. Russia has grounded Airbus A321 jets flown by the Kogalymavia airline, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, after one of its fleet crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Shortly after the crash, the Islamic State’s Sinai branch claimed responsibility for the incident, which occurred in the vicinity of the Sinai insurgency led by IS affiliates following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.