|Closed in.||1979. It became Malta International Airport (AKA- "Luqa Airport" or "Valletta Airport").|
|Operated by.||RAF (1940-1979) and Maltese ? (1979-to date).|
|Owned by.||British MoD (1940-1979) and Maltese ? (1979-to date).|
|Outside link.||https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;RAF Luqa, http://raf-luqa.weebly.com/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta_International_Airport, http://raf-luqa.lefora.com/, http://raf-luqa.weebly.com/memories.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Luqa.|
Royal Air Force Luqa was a Royal Air Force station located on the island of Malta, now developed into the Malta International Airport.
It was the location of RAF Mediterranean Command headquarters of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Particularly during the Siege of Malta from 1941 to 1943, RAF Luqa was a very important base for British Commonwealth forces fighting against Italy and Germany for naval control of the Mediterranean and for ground control of North Africa. Air combat over and near Malta was some of the most ferocious of the war, and a series of airfields were built on the small, rocky island: at Luqa, Ta' Qali, and Hal Far, plus satellite fields at Safi, Qrendi and on Malta's second island of Gozo.
After the war, Luqa remained an important RAF base, serving during the Suez Crisis of 1956, but also served as Malta's main civilian airport. The RAF left in 1979 following a British government decision not to renew the lease on the station from the Maltese.
Malta International Airport
In October 1977, a new and longer runway was launched and works commenced on the extension and refurbishment of the air terminal. An arrivals lounge and another lounge dedicated to VIPs were added and the original part of the terminal building was used for departures.
This refurbishment was not enough as it still lacked certain essential facilities. Immediately after the change in Government in 1987, the new administration decided that the 35-year-old terminal was past its time and therefore gave the green light for the construction of a new air terminal along Park 9.
Until the construction of the new air terminal was completed, the Government embarked on a further upgrade of the old air terminal. The facilities introduced included air conditioning, new baggage carousels, flight information monitors, computerised check-in desks, a new floor surface and new retail outlets including a larger duty-free area.
The foundation stone of the present air terminal was laid in September 1989 and it was inaugurated in record time 29 months later, in February 1992. Malta International Airport became fully operational on March 25, 1992, and the old Luqa passenger terminal was effectively closed down after 35 years.