40 Years On: Photographer Gets Rare Access to the Airport That Time Forgot


Manchester, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/04/2014 -- A freelance photographer has recently entered the derelict Nicosia International Airport in North Cyprus, exactly 40 years after the last flight left.

Chris Burton, 41, from Manchester, was granted access by Captain Tomas Ciampor, the UN Officer in charge of the no-man’s land and former war-zone that contains the airport, making him the 6th photographer to have set foot in the abandoned airport in 40 years.

The decision was made based on a viewing of Burton’s previous work at Chernobyl and other abandoned locales around the world, part of his on-going Urbex (Urban Exploration) projects.

Chris says he felt highly privileged to explore Nicosia International Airport, after having undergone strict security clearance.

“I have become one of a few people lucky enough to witness this unusual, desolate location first hand, and wanted to create a set of photos that accurately represented what I witnessed”, says Chris.

“It was an scorching hot day (38°C) and was strange to experience an airport terminal without nice cool air conditioning, let alone without the crowds!”

“Having the full freedom of a large international airport was a bizarre experience, and one I’ll probably never repeat.”

Nicosia International Airport

Nicosia International Airport (Greek: ??e???? ?e??d??µ?? ?e???s?a?, Turkish: Lefkosa Uluslararasi Havaalani) is a disused airport located 8 km (5 mi) west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia. It was originally the main airport for the island, but activity ceased following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

A modern terminal was built in 1968, at a cost of £1,100,000 of which £500,000 was contributed by Britain. The new terminal could accommodate 800 passengers at one time and the parking apron 11 aircraft.

In June 1974 plans were in place for the terminal to be extended and the apron to be enlarged to 16 aircraft. This was never to happen: on 15 July 1974 Greek nationalists overthrew the democratically elected president of Cyprus and Nicosia Airport become a site of chaotic scenes as holidaymakers tried to leave the island.

Due to heavy bombing, the airport has remained closed ever since and now sits in the United Nations controlled no-man’s land between the North and South of the island. Currently the airport is a ghost town, looking exactly like it did the day the last flight left in July 1974, but now home to pigeons and 40 years of dirt and nature.

“I’ve visited some strange locations during my career, but this is one of the strangest and I hope my photos do justice in showing people such an area of intrigue”, Concludes Chris.

About Chris Burton
Chris Burton lives in Manchester with his fiancé, Louise and Siberian Husky, Storm, but finds himself all over the world as part of his career.

Chris Burton is a freelance Television Cameraman and Photographer and has shot for all major broadcasters including Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, BBC, Sky and Channel 4. His work is diverse - from the popular BBC Children’s show ‘Mister Maker’ to Discovery Channel’s top-rated documentary ‘Mighty Ships’.

He has also spent 7 years travelling the world as Director Of Photography on the cult ghost-hunting show ‘Most Haunted’ and is a member of the on-screen team.

Aside from freelance work, Chris operates the stock library Kingdoms.co.uk where he uploads photos from his travels to some very unusual places and where media photo editors can buy digital rights or the public can buy prints or canvases.

Readers interested in viewing the photos from Nicosia International Airport can visit: http://qk.lc/nicosia

Chris Burton’s Freelance Website: http://www.lizard-king.com
Stock Images: http://www.kingdoms.co.uk

http://www.kingdoms.co.uk/index.php?search=nicosia airport&autopaging=0

MEDIA ASSETS (http://qk.lc/m8ZLr)

00. Photographer Chris Burton with Captain Thomas in front of an abandoned Trident aircraft. The plane was damaged while attempting to flee with holiday-makers in July 1974.
01. Nicosia International Airport, from across an eerily silent runway.
02. Barbed wire surrounds the terminal building.
03. The main departure hall, complete with cafes and shops. The stairs and walkway lead to the departure lounge.
04. Aged advertisements from 1974 adjourn the walls.
05. Check in desks, lacking queues of travellers.
06. Corridors of departure lounges, once busy with holiday makers.
07. Cafes and shops around the terminal building.
08. Baggage reclaim and arrivals hall.

Contact: Chris Burton 0207 100 2407 chris@lizard-king.com