The United States Air Force originally built Payne Airfield (now Cairo International Airport) in the 1940s. A major air cargo and passenger hub, it served Allied Forces in World War II.
After the war, American forces vacated the airfield and the Civil Aviation Authority took over field operations. In 1946, the airfield was renamed King Farouk 1st Airport and served approximately 200 civilian passengers per hour.
In the 1950s, construction began on a new terminal that would increase the capacity of the airport and, in 1963, Cairo International Airport was inaugurated and replaced Heliopolis as the primary airport in the region. Today it is the second busiest airport in Africa, serving more than 11 million passengers annually.
The FTS 8021 unidirectional airport approach lighting system aids pilots in acquiring the runways in Cairo, Egypt.