Karbala Northeast (Imam Hussein) Airport

New Airport
Completion: 9 months ago (31-Dec-2021)
IATA: n/a
ICAO: n/a
City: Karbala
Country/Territory: Iraq


  • Owner/investor:
    • Imam Hussein Holy Shrine Authority


  • Annual (pax):
    • Initial: 4,000,000
    • When completed: 20,000,000


Karbala Northeast Airport is an airport project located in Karbala, Iraq which is 110km south west of Baghdad. 

Jul-2019. Karbala Northeast (Imam Hussein) Airport resumed work the construction of an air traffic control tower.

Jul-2017. Copperchase Iraq commenced construction on the first of four phases of Karbala International Airport, with the new airport projected to "open up Iraq", according to GM Miles Roberts. The first phase is scheduled to become operational in early 2018, with the airport anticipated to cater particularly to religious tourism traffic. The airport will feature two runways, taxiways and aprons as well as three terminal buildings and a 62m ATC tower. Once the first phase is complete, the airport will be capable of handling up to two million passengers p/a and four million passengers p/a by 2018.

Feb-2017. Karbala International Airport announced it will receive its first service in 2018.


26-Jan-2017. Copperchase confirmed it was appointed to develop the first phase of the Karbala Airport project. The company will construct the airport's runway, terminal and control tower at a cost of USD250 million to USD500 million. The first phase will have capacity for two to 2.5 million passengers p/a is expected to be complete in 18 to 24 months. The airport will be developed in three phases at an estimated total cost of USD2 billion.

23-Jan-2017. Iraq's Imam Hussein Holy Shrine signed a contract with UK construction company Couberjais, and an Iraqi construction company Er-Ridha to jointly construct Karbala International Airport. French construction firm ABDI developed the airport's design. Imam Hussein Holy Shrine's chief engineer Mohammed Hassan Kadhum said airport construction is expected to require 18 months. When finished the airport will have capacity for over two million passengers p/a. 

Apr-2015. Karbala Governing Council member Zuhair Abu Dakkah reported that the Iraqi Government agreed to finance the project, replacing local funding due to the size of the projected costs. The regional government has signed an agreement with the Iraqi Ministry of Transport to invite international parties to submit bids to develop the airport. The initial design for the airport outlines capacity for up to 20 million passengers p/a.

Dec-2014. The Iraqi Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine Authority to construct a new airport in Karbala. Under the agreement, the authority will fund the proposed "Imam Hussein airport", according to its investment supervisor Fowzi Al Shaher. The new airport is expected to have a handling capacity of up to 20 million passengers p/a.

Aug-2013. Civil Aviation Authority director general Nasser Hussein said the country's Government will invite bids for the contract to construct a USD2.5 billion airport at Karbala and the project may commence in Oct-2013. Mr Hussein said eligible companies will be announced in the week commencing 02-Sep-2013. Mr Hussein said the airport is designed to have capacity for 20 million passengers p/a and will be located within 40km of the provinces of Karbala, Najaf and Hilla. The airport is being constructed in response to increased tourist traffic in the region and to provide capacity to support Baghdad International Airport Najaf International Airport. The first and second phases of the project each comprise one runway and one terminal. Mr Hussein said the authority will seek all the required funds from Iraq's Government if necessary, but hopes to secure some funding for the project from private investors.

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