Sharjah Airport ( Arabic : مطار الشارقة) ( IATA : SHJ , ICAO : OMSJ ) is an airport located 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi) east-southeast of Sharjah , United Arab Emirates. It is spread over an area of 15,200,000 m 2. Sharjah Airport is the third largest Middle East airfreight hub in cargo tonnage, according to official 2015 statistics from Airports Council International. Ground services company, Sharjah Aviation Services, handled 586,195 tonnes in 2015 – a 16.1% increase year on year. It has one passenger terminal with an area of 125,000 m2. Sharjah International Airport is home base of the low-cost carrier Air Arabia . The headquarters of Air Arabia is in the Sharjah Freight Center, on the property of the airport in Sharjah, UAE. The center is an old cargo terminal. The current Sharjah Airport was built in the 1970s and was opened on 31 December 1976. On 20 August 1977 Concorde 202 G-BBDG, which came from Filton and refuelled at Damascus landed at Sharjah Airport. The aircraft also made a short flight display over the city. The BAe party was headed by Sir Geoffrey Tuttle, which received a great welcome, the whole party were also given watches and a few received magnificent swords as well. It replaced RAF Sharjah which was closer to the city and was opened in 1932. It was the first airport in UAE and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , for use by Imperial Airways , and was subsequently used by the RAF until 14 December 1971. The reason for the move was development pressure from the city of Sharjah. The old airport's runway is now part of King Abdul Aziz Street in the city centre. The airport was used by the United States Air Force 926th Tactical Fighter Group during Operation Desert Shield/Storm . Approximately 450 members of the unit were stationed at the airport, which flew A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft during the conflict in late 1990 and early 1991.