1927-1928 Opening of Kuwait's first airport, located in the Dasma area on the outskirts of the city. First flights to "Dasma Airport" are operated by Imperial Airways - an ancestor of British Airways - using the desert landing strip as a refueling stop on the Britain-India-Britain air route
1932 First regular civil aircraft operations begin at "Dasma Airport".
1934 Discovery of oil opens a new chapter in the modern history of Kuwait. Kuwait Oil Company Limited (KOC) founded. Planning begins for a new airport to cater for anticipated traffic increase for KOC workforce but is abandoned in 1939 on the outbreak of the Second World War.
1947-48 KOC develops new Al-Nugra (Al-Mayass) airport, located in Nuzha district. Open for daylight operations only. Airlines open offices in Kuwait city to handle ticketing and cargo operations for the Arab expatriate community. Al-Nugra airport steadily developed with new concrete buildings and hangar.
1954 National carrier Kuwait National Airways Company Limited is founded. Trainee pilots awarded Kuwaiti and British certificates by Kuwait Aero-Club.
1955 The national carrier is renamed Kuwait Airways Corporation after government of Kuwait doubles its capital and takes 50% share in the airline.
1956 Kuwait Civil Aviation Department is established as a section of the Directorate of Public Security (later renamed the Ministry of Interior).
1958 Kuwait Airport reports directly to the Civil Aviation Department. Civil Aviation Department decrees Objectives and Aviation Affairs Policy.
1960 The State of Kuwait becomes a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Chicago Agreement. Kuwaiti business magnates establish private airline Trans Arabia Airways. Announcement of Law No. 30 for organising Civil Air Navigation, and Law No. 37 for Organising Aircraft Accidents Investigation.
1961 State of Kuwait declares independence. Phase One of new Mugwa Airport begins operation. Airlines serving Mugwa include BOAC, Lufthansa, KLM, United Arab Airlines, Saudi Arab Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, Air India, and Lebanese carriers MEA, TMA and LIA. Facilities comprise passenger terminal (Terminal 1), 2,200-metre asphalt runway, parking apron, and control tower equipped to handle operations round-the-clock.
1962 Kuwait Government acquires full ownership of Kuwait Airways Corporation.
1963 Issue of Amiri Decree inaugurating the Supreme Council of Civil Aviation to handle policy matters relating to the Civil Aviation sector. Kuwait becomes a full member of both ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) and WMO (World Meteorology Organisation).
1964 The Civil Aviation Department is given its own budget and becomes financially and administratively independent from the Ministry of Interior. Kuwait Government acquires Trans Arabia Airways and transfers its fleet of four DC-6s to Kuwait Airways.
1965 Phase Two of Mugwa Airport comes on-line. Enhancements include 3,400-metre concrete western runway and new control tower.
1975 Civil Aviation Department is renamed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), headed by a Director General with the rank of Undersecretary.
1980 Ongoing investment programme by the DGCA enhances facilities for airlines and passengers at Mugwa Airport to cater for growth. Inauguration of western passenger terminal (Terminal 2) raises annual passenger capacity to five million. Modern cargo terminal opens offering 24 hour operations. Modern navaids, radar, ILS and communications systems come on-line.
1986 Inauguration of 3,500-metre eastern runway and new 60- metre-high control tower with latest ATC technology. Renovation of Terminal 1.
1987 Issuing of Decree Law No 31 for regulating Air Transport Market in the State of Kuwait. Opening of the Safir Airport Transit Hotel.
1990 Iraqi invasion of the peaceful State of Kuwait. Over a sevenmonth period the invading forces loot and devastate the airport's infrastructure causing damage in excess of 100 million KD (US$330 million).
1991 Kuwait liberated by coalition forces on 26 February. Within four days the DGCA successfully re-opens KIA for limited service, allowing the import of vital construction equipment and materials, as well as enabling Kuwaiti citizens to return home. The airport is restored to full operations by December 1991.
1994 Issue of Law No 6, involving crimes relating to the safety of aircraft and air navigation. KIA's Duty Free shopping complex opens.
1996 Kuwait International Airport joins Airports Council International.
1997 Issuing of Amiri Decrees 194, 195, 196, restructuring the DGCA and appointing:
  • President of Civil Aviation, in the level of Excellence rank.
  • Director General of Civil Aviation, in the rank of Undersecretary.
  • Deputy Director General for Kuwait International Airport Affairs.
  • Deputy Director General for Electrical & Construction Affairs
  • Deputy Director General for Navigational Equipment Affairs.
  • Deputy Director General for Aviation Safety & Air Transport Affairs
2000 Phase One of the Kuwait Airspace System Plan (KASP) inaugurated as new Approach Control and Short-Range Radar System comes on-line. Roll-out of new digital Airport PABX system with interface to a duplex radio system, featuring monitoring and control system.
2001 Expansion of the airport's Duty Free complex. Work begins on new Commercial Centre and Car Parking Complex.
2002 Second tranche of KASP Phase One projects completed including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) installation for KIA’s 11kV power distribution system, Doppler Weather Radar and Low Level Wind Shear alert system. First phase of Commercial Centre project opens, comprising new public arrivals hall and commercial concessions, multistory short-term car park and shaded long-term car parking.
2003 Second Phase of Commercial Centre project opens, comprising new departure hall with additional check-in and commercial facilities. Competition introduced in ground handling services.
2005 Kuwaiti low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways inaugurates services with flights to Dubai and Beirut. Ground handling company National Aviation Services opens new Pearl Lounge.
2006 DGCA launches “Open Skies” initiative, part of the government drive to transform Kuwait into a commercial and tourism centre of the Arabian Gulf and increase business and leisure traffic. Kuwait Airways opens new Dasman Lounge. Just over 6 million passengers are handled.
2007 Restructuring of the DGCA with:
  • President of Civil Aviation, in the level of Excellence rank.
  • Director General of Civil Aviation, in the rank of Undersecretary.
  • Five Deputy Directors General in the rank of Assistant Undersecretary:
  • Deputy Director General for Administrative Affairs & Information Systems;
  • Deputy Director General for Kuwait International Airport Affairs.
  • Deputy Director General for Air Navigation.
  • Deputy Director General for Aviation Safety & Air Transport Affairs.
  • Deputy Director General for Financial & Legal Affairs.
2008 80th anniversary of Civil Aviation in the State of Kuwait. Over 7.2 million passengers handled.
2009 New General Aviation Terminal (Sheikh Saad Terminal) opens. More than 8.1 million passengers handled at KIA.
2011 KIA handles almost 8.5 million passengers – a record-breaking performance.
2012 85th anniversary of Civil Aviation in the State of Kuwait. DGCA unveils latest development Master Plan, which includes a new Terminal 2, major runway extensions, two additional fire stations, development of a cargo metropolis and a new DGCA headquarters complex.