Nicosia’s old barren airport has remained as a decrepit relic frozen in time, which authorities attempt to upkeep when necessary, CNA reported on Saturday after receiving a guided tour of the facility.

Video footage of the Cyprus News Agency’s visit showed the aftermath of the Turkish bombings from the 1974 invasion, the vandalism, and the general state of the ageing structure, which was once a hub of travel in Cyprus.

CNA attempted to find out if there is any hope for the Nicosia Airport site to undergo repairs or be utilised.

“The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus is mandated to keep the status quo across the buffer zone, this includes the Old Nicosia Airport,” Unficyp spokesman Aleem Siddique said.

Despite several attempts the sides were never able to reach an agreement on the reopening of the airport, he added. Unficyp continues to patrol the airport and carries out occasional works to ensure the safety of UN patrols in and around the buildings.

Deputy Government Spokesman Yiannis Antoniou told CNA that the maintenance of Nicosia airport, as well as other buildings and/or infrastructure located in areas where control is exercised by the UN Peacekeeping Force, is regulated between Unficyp and the Republic on the basis of a relevant agreement.

The reopening of Nicosia Airport was last raised at the level of negotiations between the two sides during the Presidency of George Vassiliou and during the early presidency of Glafcos Clerides, without a conclusion. It was raised in the context of a discussion of Confidence Building Measures. Since then, it has never been discussed.

Nicosia International Airport lies to the west of the capital. It used to be the principal airport for Cyprus from its construction in 1968 until 1974.

It has been inoperable since 1974 and currently serves as the Unficyp headquarters. On July 20, 1974, two empty Cyprus Airways airliners were destroyed on the ground by the Turkish Air Force during the Turkish invasion.

Only three flights took place after this date: two departures involved the two remaining Cyprus Airways aircraft and that of former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim’s aircraft following the conclusion of his visit to Cyprus at the end of August 1974.