There's an abandoned airport within the Cyprus buffer zone (Google Maps). I've seen pictures of the airport online, but how can I visit this airport and is it safe to do so?


2 Answers 2


No, you cannot, it's protected by the UN and off-limits to all.

The UNPA [United Nations Protected Area] included the whole of the airport complex, including the premises of RAF Nicosia and the UN camps.

Neither side was to approach within 500 metres of this perimeter. When ceasefire lines were drawn on 16 August 1974, the area declared as a United Nations Protected Area (UNPA) was included within the buffer zone.

In keeping with UNFICYP’s mandate to maintain the status quo, the airport has remained a United Nations Protected Area since 1974.

UNFICYP regulates access, but tourism of any kind is not on the agenda:

Contact UNFICYP’s Civil Affairs Section for any inquiries on Farming, Construction and Access in the buffer zone, as well as on Bi-Communal, Humanitarian and Religious issues. Any request which does not fall under the above categories will not be responded to.

  • 1
    Interesting, then, that the airport was shut down when, according to the map linked in the OP, the Nicosia Mall, Makedonitissa 3rd Primary School, and many well maintained, currently occupied looking residences are within the UNPA. Note that I'm not familiar with Cyprus nor the conflict that lead to the UNPA there, so that may well be perfectly reasonable. The mall is described in the map as "Modern multi-story shopping complex featuring an atrium, many dining options & a grocery store." Sounds like it was built post 1974 to me.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 14:46
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    According to this CNN article, "[the airport's] access to the public is heavily restricted as it forms part of the wider complex housing the headquarters of the UN's peacekeeping force on the island." If you look on the map, the area around the airport seems ideal for that purpose; there's a relatively large area with only one or two roads leading in & out. Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 16:22
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    That said, there's a photosphere on Google Street View taken at the airport, showing what appears to be a group of tourists outside the terminal building. So it may be possible! Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 16:29
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    I toured the airport 20 years ago as the guest of a UN official. It’s well preserved (the UN have a duty to look after it). There are signs in the terminal building advertising “BOAC” and so on. There were posters and leaflets from 1974. In a hangar was a very dusty Air Cyprus Trident full of bullet holes, and with long flat tyres there since the 1974 invasion. I was told that the runway couldn’t be used because aircraft would need to fly over Turkish airspace, and the authorities wouldn’t agree to that. UN helicopters still used it, but no fixed wing aircraft as far as I am aware. Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 22:27
  • Was just here, no, you cannot visit. There are lot of closed off areas in Cyprus (like the entire Buffer Zone, pretty much).
    – Trucker
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 13:17

There is a virtual tour available: Nicosia International Airport Virtual Tour

It is created to digitally preserve this historic site:

The World Heritage Convention, drawn up by various international bodies in 1972, was designed to protect cultural or natural places of outstanding universal value so that future generations may be able to enjoy them. According to those principles the NIC Project, named after the old IATA code for the International Airport of Nicosia, represents an industrial archaeology multidisciplinary project led by the STARC of the Cyprus Institute (www.cyi.ac.cy) , which aims to preserve and promote digitally one of the main iconic sites of the recent history of Cyprus.

  • 6
    Although this looks like spam without proper evaluation, it actually does appear to be a legitimate virtual tour of the airport, addressing Michael Seifert’s comment. Cy2022, welcome to Stack Exchange! How about adding a bit of explanation to your answer, etc? Thanks!
    – travelgasm
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 0:26

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