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Egypt Transportations


Egypt's transportation system is well developed, with 65,050 km of roads in 2009, of which about 47,500 km were paved. In 2003, there were 2,282,760 passenger cars and 688,300 commercial vehicles registered.

In 1982, in an attempt to alleviate Cairo's notorious traffic congestion, work began on a city subway system. The first phase, 5-km long, was completed in 1987 at a cost of some $370 million. Cairo Metro, modelled after the Paris Metro, is the first subway to be built in Africa. Alexandria and Cairo are connected by both the Western Desert Highway, a high-speed toll road and the busier Delta Road. Railways are managed by the state-owned Egyptian Railways, founded in 1852. As of 2009, there was some 5,083 km of standard gauge railway that linked all parts of the country. Alexandria and Port Said are the principal ports. Egypt's ocean-going merchant fleet totalled 67 ships in 2010.

As of 2011, Egypt had some 3,500 km of inland waterways that include the Nile River, the Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, Lake Nasser, the 193.5 km Suez Canal and many other smaller canals in the Nile River delta. However, the Nile River and the Suez Canal are the country's main inland waterways. Steamer service on the Nile is an important means of domestic transport. The modern Suez Canal was constructed between 1859 and 1869 under the supervision of the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps. In 1875 Great Britain became the canal's leading shareholder, and the guarantor of its neutrality in 1888 under the Constantinople Convention. Management of the canal was entrusted to the privately owned Suez Canal Co. British rights over the canal were reaffirmed in the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, then repudiated by Egypt in 1951. In 1956, Egypt nationalised the canal and placed it under the management of the Suez Canal Authority, which had paid former stockholders $64 million by 1963. The canal was closed during the 1967 war with Israel and remained closed until 5 June 1975, when it resumed operations after having been cleared of mines and debris by teams of US, UK and Egyptian engineers. During its first six months after resuming operations, the canal provided passage for a substantial number of dry-cargo ships but was used by only a comparatively small number of oil tankers, since the newer supertankers could not navigate the canal's 38-ft depth. The first phase of a project to widen and deepen the canal was completed in 1980, permitting ships of 53-ft draft (up to 150,000 tons) to pass through. The second phase includes increasing the navigable depth to 67 ft (up to 270,000 tons). Egypt also announced plans to build five tunnels under the canal and dig a second channel to permit the two-way passage of convoys; the first tunnel at the southern end of the canal was opened to traffic in 1980.

Cairo International Airport is used by numerous international airlines, including Egypt's own Egypt Air. In 2003, about 4.2 million passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights. As of 2012, Egypt had 84 airports, of which 72 had paved runways, and there were six heliports.

An Overview

Airports :
84 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways :
total: 72
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
under 914 m: 6 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways :
total: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 3 (2012)

Heliports :
6 (2012)

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