(All images reproduced with the permission of Ilya Varlamov via Flickr)
Nicosia International Airport has been abandoned as a commercial flight area since the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The runways and main airfield facilities are principally under the control of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, but the terminal building and two surviving aircraft – an Avro Shackleton and Hawker Siddeley Trident – lie derelict.
Featured before on Urban Ghosts, this time we get up close and personal to the crumbling infrastructure and wrecked planes courtesy of this amazing series of photographs by urban explorer Ilya Varlamov.
Above, the Art Deco control tower stands intact while the terminal building lies silent. Amid decades-worth of debris and peeling paintwork, the waiting areas, check-in counters and passport control desks remain as they were when abandoned almost 40 years ago.
The Abandoned Avro Shackleton – a Walk-Around
On the far side of the airfield lies the remains of an Avro Shackleton. Its original purpose is unclear, but the fact that it lies on its belly with wheels removed, well away from the main terminal, suggests it was once in use as an escape trainer or crash rescue airframe, during the days when the British controlled the airport as RAF Nicosia.
Almost 40 years after it was damaged on the ground during the 1974 invasion, the gutted hulk of this former Cyprus Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident remains parked on the tarmac. Three other remaining aircraft were flown out of Nicosia under UN Special Authorisation in 1977. One of these, also a Trident, was retrieved by British Airways engineers and is now on display at the Imperial War Museum.
In this final photograph, a torn and tattered UN flag hangs from the wing of the derelict Shackleton, leaving one wondering whether the United Nations has also abandoned this off-limits corner of Cyprus.
Check out more of Ilya Varlamov’s work in this series of photographs covering the Abandoned Railway Station in Abkhazia.