This airport was once a bustling, state-of-the-art transport hub on a popular holiday island.

But for more than 40 years time has stood still at Nicosia International Airport on Cyprus, which is now an eerie scene of decaying check-in desks and terminal equipment, and stripped-back jets stuck on the abandoned tarmac, news.com.au reports.

Family members of United Nations peacekeepers jog past a decaying passenger plane of Cyprus Airways at Nicosia International Airport. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images
Family members of United Nations peacekeepers jog past a decaying passenger plane of Cyprus Airways at Nicosia International Airport. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images

The airport became deserted after 1974, when it became a flashpoint for civil conflict on the Mediterranean island.

Cyprus had seen years of tensions between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots after it became independent from Britain.

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The airport became stuck in the middle of a demilitarised zone after conflict broke out in Cyprus. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images
The airport became stuck in the middle of a demilitarised zone after conflict broke out in Cyprus. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images

In 1974, Greek nationalists overthrew the elected president of Cyprus and in the days that followed, Nicosia airport was briefly used to bring in troops from Greece.

The airport was also a scene of chaos during that time, as holiday-makers and other foreigners sought to flee the conflict.

Within days of the coup d'etat, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and the airport was severely damaged in a bombing campaign.

Bird droppings have blanketed the old passenger departure area. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images
Bird droppings have blanketed the old passenger departure area. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images
The former control tower at Nicosia International Airport stands decaying. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images
The former control tower at Nicosia International Airport stands decaying. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images

A demilitarised zone was created and Nicosia airport wound up right in the middle of it, which led to it being suddenly abandoned. The last commercial flight departed Nicosia in 1977.

After Nicosia airport was abandoned, authorities opened a new international airport at Larnaca, which is the island's main airport that most Australians now fly into or pass through.

The sign reads: 'Tipping porters not allowed'. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images
The sign reads: 'Tipping porters not allowed'. Photo / Athanasios Gioumpasis, Getty Images

But intrepid travellers who venture to neglected Nicosia airport can see how its has become frozen in time, with derelict rows of seats in the terminals, stained carpets on now-empty corridors, and decrepit jet planes stuck where they last came to rest all those years ago.

A former cafe inside the former main terminal at Nicosia International Airport. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images
A former cafe inside the former main terminal at Nicosia International Airport. Photo / Sean Gallup, Getty Images