Department of Civil Aviation
The Department of Civil Aviation is one of the Departments of the Ministry of Communications and Works and is instrumental in the development of the country’s economy. The Department’s main activities include the regulation of the two international airports, the development of air transport and the provision of air traffic control services to operators at the two airports and to overflying aircraft. Aviation security is among the functions the Department performs with the assistance of the Cyprus Police and the airport operator HERMES Airports. Furthermore, the Department has the responsibility of regulating the safety of air operators and training organizations. The training of the Department’s personnel in the area of Civil Aviation is one activity which is vital for the Department.
Due to the international nature of aviation the Department participates in international bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), and others. The Department also cooperates with other government departments and bodies such as the Public Works Department, the Cyprus Police, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, and the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, to name a few.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation has entrusted the provision of air navigation services for the Eastern part of Mediterranean to the Department of Civil Aviation. The Flight Information Region of Nicosia has an area of 170,000 square kilometers, which is nearly ten times the size of the island. Air transport movements in the Nicosia FIR registered a growth over the last years and it is anticipated that in the next few years this growth will continue. Air traffic Control is provided with the use of Radar, and the Nicosia Area Control Center employs state of the art equipment for this purpose.
As a member state of the European Union, Cyprus applies all the relevant regulations concerning the Single European Sky initiative, which aims to satisfy demand with the minimum delays, in a safe and sustainable environment. Part of the initiative is the creation of Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB). Moreover, Cyprus along with Greece, Italy and Malta are the founding members of the BLUE MED FAB.
Cyprus is an attractive country for visitors and tourists and every year more than two million tourists visit the island. Furthermore, Cyprus is a business center for the region and the sole mode of transport to the island is through the two international Airports of Larnaka and Pafos. Despite the economic recession, passenger numbers were resilient. The intra EU traffic accounts for 65% of the total. Traffic from Russia, which is the second largest but the first from non-EU countries, has seen a healthy growth in recent years.
The Ministry of Communications and Works along with the Department, pursue a policy of open skies with third countries as this will assist in the further development of passenger traffic and increase connectivity. The infrastructure to do this already exists with the operation of the two new terminals at Larnaka and Pafos. The operation of the two airports has been achieved through a concession agreement on a BOT (Build Operate Transfer) basis which terminates in 2031. The master plan provides for further expansion of the facilities to accommodate future demand.
Department of Civil Aviation
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