Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport was formerly known as the Ophira International Airport is an airport located near Sharm el-Sheikh City in the North African Arab Republic of Egypt. This airport was originally built by the Israeli Air Force as a base in 1968, before this territory was returned to Egypt following the Camp David Accords.
It is the second busiest airport in the country after the Cairo International Airport, and on an average is serving over 7.5 million passengers each year. Situated at an elevation of 143 feet above mean sea level, this airport is owned and operated by the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports & Air Navigation (EHCAAN), providing services to over 56,000 flight movements every year. With a couple of asphalt surfaced runways measuring 10,108 feet each, presently there are two fully modernized operative terminals serving this airport with 60 check-in desks, 17 gates and 11 baggage claim belts. A number of passenger facilities are available at this airport including restaurants, snack-bars, stalls, banks, currency exchange counters and tourist help-desks.
Located at a distance of 10 kilometers from the city centre, there are car rental and many hotel shuttle services to enable passengers move downtown. Private taxis are also available for local transportation but however need to be negotiated and rates fixed before hiring. Sharm el-Sheikh is undoubtedly the most favored international tourist destination on the Red Sea Riviera, comprising of some of the world’s best diving sites filled with a treasure of colorful and exquisite marine life and bound to attract more tourist traffic as the days go by. Plans are underway for constructing another state-of-the-art Terminal 3 at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport to cope with future demands will almost double the capacity of this airport by serving over 15 million passengers each year, is likely to be fully completed by the year 2012.