The History of Nicosia Airport

The visit of Winston Churchill

In January 1943 the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, undertook a series of overseas visits which lasted almost one month.

Using his private aircraft, a Liberator LB.30 AL504 named 'Commando' his first visit was Casablanca for a meeting with US President Roosevelt.
Following the Casablanca Conference he flew to Cairo and then on to a little known meeting in Turkey.

His final port of call was to be Tripoli to review a victory parade two weeks after its liberation by Montgomery's forces.

On his way to Tripoli, Churchill called in Cyprus (via RAF Nicosia) on the 31st January 1943 and had several meetings with important Cypriot politicians.

He left Cyprus on the 1st February 1943.

Churchill's private aircraft (painted black) parked at RAF Nicosia with the familiar shape of the Kyrenia Mountains in the background.

The aircraft's (named Commando) was not pressurised and rarely flew above 8,000ft.

Churchill inspects soldiers of the Cyprus Regiment at RAF Nicosia.

Here Churchill is speaking to invited guests at Government House.

On the 1st February 1943 Churchill leaves Cyprus bound for Tripoli. He boards the aircraft via a small door at the rear.
The accommodation was rather dark and uncomfortable.