(Israel Twitter)Haifa International Airport, נמל התעופה חיפה, Namal HaTe'ufa Haifa, also known as U Michaeli Airport) (IATA: HFA, ICAO: LLHA) is an Israeli airport located in Haifa. It is located to the east of the city, close to Kishon Port and Israel Shipyards and mainly serves civilian flights, with some military usage. Most passenger flights passing through the airport are domestic operations to Eilat and Tel Aviv. The airport is named after Uri Michaeli, one of the pioneers of Jewish aviations and one of the founders of aviation in Israel. The airport has one runway, and there are plans to expand it onto reclaimed land in the Gulf of Haifa.
Haifa Airport was established by the British Mandate in 1934, as its first international airport, originally serving the British Army and the Iraqi-British oil company, APS. In 1936 passenger services to Beirut and Cyprus were opened, and in 1938 a regular route to Italy commenced. In 1938 a third of flights into Palestine landed in Haifa but in 1940, civil flights were stopped due to the Second World War in which the airport served the Royal Air Force's operations in the Middle East as RAF Haifa.
The airport reopened for passenger traffic in 1948 with flights operated by Cyprus Airways. This was followed ten years later by Arkia Israel Airlines flights. It wasn't until 1994, however, that the airport received international status, and at this time, it was planned that the airport would serve flights to destinations across Europe. Less than a year later, the airport was placed for sale. At this time, great interest in the site was shown by the French construction group, Bouygues as well as British Aerospace.
These expected services never really took off however, and it wasn't until 1996, and the start of Israir flights, that the airport grew. This growth was further increased in 1998 with Aeroel service. Royal Wings increased route offerings once again with flights from Jordan, whilst Scorpio started flights to Egypt. In 1998, a new terminal was opened at the airport to cater for all of the services needed in a modern international airport. In the past there were three takeoff and landing runways in the airport, of which only two still exist, and only one is currently in use.
In 2001, talk over expanding the airport restarted when then Finance Minister, Silvan Shalom called for an 800 million NIS upgrade to turn the airport into one of an international standard.
As part of the later phases of the Haifa Seaport expansion plan, there are plans to greatly extend the length of the airport's runway (onto reclaimed land in Haifa Bay), allowing for long-haul narrow-body aircraft operations.