Temporary flight suspension

Baghdad Airport resumes operations after maintenance

BAGHDAD, January 29 — Baghdad International Airport resumed regular operations on Monday evening following essential maintenance work on the airfield lighting system, leading to a temporary halt in flights for several hours.

The airport’s media office told 964media, “The management of Baghdad International Airport would like to inform the public and our esteemed travelers that operations have resumed normally for both arriving and departing flights after the necessary maintenance of the airfield lighting on runway 15L 33R was completed by specialized technical teams.”

Amer Abdul-Jabbar, former Transport Minister, offered additional insights. He outlined that Baghdad Airport has two runways; the primary one serves commercial aviation, while the other, used by Iraqi and American military air traffic, lacks night lighting. Abdul-Jabbar emphasized the problem of a runway without lighting, marking it as a governmental oversight.

Jihad Kazem, Director of Civil Aviation Media for 964media, detailed the airport’s maintenance procedures. Routine inspections occur daily, with maintenance scheduled on Mondays and Fridays. “Today’s maintenance focused on runway 33 right’s navigational lighting. The extended maintenance period required issuing a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) to inform airlines,” Kazem stated. He added that while the primary runway has navigational lighting, the secondary one does not, making it less preferred by companies, especially at night.

Furthermore, flight movements at Baghdad International Airport were disrupted after 4 p.m. A Jordanian plane returned to Amman, and a Lebanese flight made an emergency landing at Najaf Airport. Flight tracking website Flight Radar 24 recorded the diversion of the Middle East Airlines Airbus 320 from Beirut to Baghdad, rerouting to Najaf Airport, landing at 6:18 p.m.

Amer Abdul-Jabbar criticized Baghdad Airport for the confusion caused, noting the lack of prior notification. He underscored the necessity of timely NOTAMs and quicker runway repairs to avoid disrupting air traffic. “Two aircraft arrived at Baghdad Airport only to find it closed, redirecting them to Najaf Airport. Prompt NOTAM issuance and expedited repairs are crucial,” Abdul-Jabbar emphasized.