The history of Cairo International Airport began in the 1940s of the last century when the American air base at Bayn Field was established five kilometres from Almaza Airport to serve the Alliance during World War II. American forces left the base at the end of the war.
In 1945, the Civil Aviation Authority took over the base and assigned it to international civil aviation. The airport was called “King Farouk 1st Airport”. Meanwhile, Almaza airport was dedicated to domestic flights.
It should be noted that the movement of air traffic during this period, particularly in 1946, was 200,000 passengers per year. The airport’s peak hourly capacity reached 200 passengers per hour.
In 1955, studies were carried out to build a new terminal of greater capacity; the location of the new terminal was chosen between the two runways, east of Cairo. Construction began in 1957 and was inaugurated on 18 March 1963.
In 1963, Cairo International Airport replaced the former Heliopolis Airport located in the Hike-Step area east of Cairo. It consisted of arrival and departure halls, a transit hall and two runways with a capacity of five million passengers per year.
Since air transport fares reached 55% in the 1970s, a second hall was built in 1977-79 and a third was added in 1980.
In the 1980s, air fares increased again and a second terminal became a necessity. Terminal 2, with its two arrival and departure halls, a transit hall and a runway, was built to accommodate 3.5 million passengers per year.