This airport has been closed since 1974. NIC used to be the principal airport for Cyprus from its initial construction in the 1930s as the Royal Air Force station RAF Nicosia until 1974. Principally a military establishment at first, the RAF quit the airfield in 1966 due to limited space brought on by vastly increasing civilian aircraft movements. As a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974, Turkey came to occupy 37% of the island, splitting Cyprus into a de facto Turkish-administered northern sector (see also: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) and the remaining southern areas controlled by the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus. NIC lies directly in the United Nations controlled Buffer Zone separating the two areas. It has been inoperable since 1974 due to the continued state of belligerency between the two sides.Nicosia's two sectors (the Turkish North and the Greek South) are served by different and more recently opened airports: Ercan International Airport (ECN) for the north, and Larnaca International Airport (LCA) for the south. Due to the non-recognition of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", Ercan is not permitted by most countries to be a valid destination for a flight plan. The only international flights from Ercan are to Turkey. There have been some plans for NIC to be reopened under U.N. control as a goodwill measure, but so far neither the Greek nor the Turkish Cypriots have seriously pursued this option. The airport is currently under the control of UNFICYP, and serves as the force's headquarters. Parts of the runway and aircraft hangers are used by UN patrol helicopters.
Nicosia, known locally as Lefkosia (Greek: Λευκωσία, Turkish: Lefkoşa), is the capital and largest city of Cyprus. It is located on the River Pedieos and situated almost in the centre of the island, it is the seat of government as well as the main business centre. Nicosia is the capital of the Nicosia District. Following the intercommunal violence of the 1960s, the capital was divided between the island's Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in the south and north respectively. An attempted coup to unite the island with Greece in 1974 led to a Turkish invasion, leaving the capital divided since then, with Turkish Cypriots claiming the north as the capital of their own state, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (recognised only by Turkey). On 3 April 2008, as part of efforts to reunify the island, a symbolic wall dividing the two communities at Ledra Street was opened. South of the Green Line, the population of the city is 270,000 (late 2004), while a further 84,893 live in the north. Nicosia is important commercially with many shops, two modern shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment. The city is a trade centre and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. Copper mines are nearby. Nicosia is the seat of the University of Cyprus (UCY) and four other universities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicosia