Both airports in Tripoli are focal points for fighting. Given their strategic value, they periodically serve as headquarters for various local militias.
HLLT/Tripoli Airport has been more or less completely closed since mid-2014, when at least 90% of the airport’s facilities were destroyed in fighting between local militias. Since then, international flights to and from Tripoli have been using HLLM/Mitiga instead. Technically, HLLT/Tripoli is now only available for VIP, emergency and ambulance flights; but in reality, it should be avoided at all costs.
HLLM/Mitiga Airport is the old military airfield, which is now being used for civilian traffic, since the closure of HLLT/Tripoli. However, the airport has been plagued by violence over the past few years, and has been forced to close a number of times.
In Jan 2018, heavy clashes across the city left at least twenty people dead and forced Mitiga airport to close for five days, from Jan 15-20. Gunfire at the airport damaged multiple aircraft, including a few A319s and at least one A330:
There was a similar incident back in Oct 2017, when a Libyan Airlines A330 at Mitiga airport was hit by gunfire during an exchange of fire between local militia in the district directly south of the airport:
HLLL/Tripoli FIR A number of countries already have blanket warnings in place against operating to Libya, and they all say pretty much the same thing: avoid the entire country – don’t land at any airport, don’t even overfly.
So we suggest you ignore whatever gets pumped out on the HLLL FIR Notams about the country’s main international airports being “AVAILABLE H24 FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AND EN-ROUTE DIVERSIONS”. If you absolutely have to overfly the airspace, Libya has updated their requirements for transit of their FIR, and have published a mandatory routing scheme. You can read that in full by clicking here.
What is more interesting, is the state guidance they issued back in Feb 2017, which shows those areas that they believe to be active Conflict Zones. While we list the entire country as “Level 1 – Avoid” at safeairspace.net, it is nonetheless noteworthy as this type of notification from a ‘Conflict Zone state’ is rare.
The 3 areas with coordinates, are:
Area 1:- 3116N01610E 3108N01707E 3030N01700E 3042N01605E
Area 2:- 3251N02240E 3243N02246E 3239N02218E 3247N02216E
Area 3:- 3212N02002E 3209N02007E 3157N01953E 3154N02005E (this has been removed as of Feb 2018, but we’ll leave it here)
These correspond to sites at Sirte, Benghazi, and Derna, left to right below, with Sirte being the largest.
Operators are required to use IFBP while in the Libya FIR. If unable to maintain communication , they’d like you to call the controllers direct at +218215632331. The secondary number is +218213619614.
- Libya Airspace/Overflight risk warnings at safeairspace.net