Choosing the perfect airport in Africa for your tech stop needs can be overwhelming. So, we asked the UAS Africa team to use their regional knowledge to compile a list of some of the best options.
Here are our preferred 13 airports for tech stops on the continent.
Cameroon – Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport
IATA: NSI / ICAO: FKYS
- NSI is central to tech stop requirements for flights from Europe further down to the South and East of Africa, as well as flights from the Middle East and Asia flying further West and vice-versa.
- Preferred over the neighboring airport of FKKD because of its flexibility with fuel supplies, ample parking space, and simplified turn-around process.
Cape Verde – Amílcar Cabral International Airport
IATA: SID / ICAO: GVAC
- Cape Verde is an island close to Senegal on the Westernmost part of Africa and this airport is usually used as an option to GOBD.
- Flight Operations are usually fast here because of the low traffic.
- Landing permits are also easy to obtain and crew visas are not required.
Gabon – Léon-Mba International Airport
IATA: LBV / ICAO: FOOL
- The strategic location of Libreville in Central Africa between Europe and Southern Africa, combined with an efficient fuel system and great Handling support makes FOOL an excellent fuel stop location for flights between Western Europe and North Africa into Southern Africa.
- Solid UAS connections with the CAA also make permit acquisition very easy.
Congo – Antonio-Agostinho-Neto International Airport
IATA: PNR / ICAO: FCPP
- Pointe Noire could be an equal alternative to FOOL for the same attributes, but congestion during the peak hours of Commercial flights could be a little issue.
- It is, however, a great stop location. Landing permits are easy to secure through established relationships.
Ghana – Kotoka International Airport
IATA: ACC / ICAO: DGAA
- This friendly airport in Accra has great Handlers, a seamless fuel supply, a simple and fast turn-around process.
- UAS Supervisor is based here to support missions on the ground.
Sao Tome – São Tomé International Airport
IATA: TMS / ICAO: FPST
- This airport is small with low traffic, but a highly functional and efficient airport system
- Handling support, fuel is readily available in this safe and secured country.
- Permits are relatively easy to secure.
Gambia – Banjul International Airport
IATA: BJL / ICAO: GBYD
- One of the easiest countries to obtain a Landing permit for a tech stop is the Gambia, the process is simple and easy.
- There is constant fuel availability and a short turn-around time due to low traffic in this airport.
Senegal – Blaise Diagne International Airport
IATA: DSS / ICAO: GOBD
- Senegal is a hub for aircraft operating into Africa from the Americas into the West, South, and Central Africa, as well as being a good spot between Europe and the Caribbean.
- Landing permits for tech stops are generally not difficult to obtain.
- For night stop operations, the crew does not need visas to enter the country and the city is generally safe.
- An experienced UAS Supervisor is on the ground for added support.
Ethiopia – Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
IATA: ADD / ICAO: HAAB
- Addis Ababa Airport is the home of Ethiopian Airlines, and the government has deliberately made it easily accessible for ease of transit operations.
- It is easy to get permits for technical stops and our handlers are top notch with all GSE equipment readily available.
- Fuel shortages are almost unheard of.
Kenya – Moi International Airport
IATA: MBA / ICAO: HKMO
- The international airport in Mombasa is ideal for technical stops where crew does not need to leave the airport.
- It is a quiet airport without too much traffic and a quick turn-around is guaranteed.
- Fuel is readily available and between the several ground handlers serving the airport, all GSE is available to handle any type of aircraft except the Airbus A380 (due to runway restrictions).
- The airport is not the best for a crew rest as the nearest hotels are about 20KM from the airport with possibilities of traffic congestion in between.
Kenya – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
IATA: NBO / ICAO: HKJK
- Nairobi is a convenient transit port for flights traversing the African continent from Europe and the Middle East headed towards Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as well as flights from Southeastern Asia headed for west Africa.
- The airport offers a wide array of quality handlers and facilities to match as well as plenty of parking space.
- In case of crew rest, there are two four-star hotels right inside the airport and crew have easy passage through Immigration.
- PCR tests are not required from the crew.
- Permits for Technical stops can be acquired with ease within 72 hours.
- Like HAAB, fuel is readily available.
- One of UAS’ strongest presence in Africa.
Tanzania – Julius Nyerere International Airport
IATA: DAR / ICAO: HTDA
- This Dar es salaam airport is friendly for the crew and offers easy access.
- Ideal for a stopover from the Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius and Reunion towards West Africa and the DRC.
- The new terminal at HTDA has splendid facilities and the airport has plenty of parking space.
- Landing permits could take time as their new online portal is still being fine-tuned, however, they can be secured within 72 hours.
Malawi – Kamuzu International Airport
IATA: LLW / ICAO: FWKI
- Lilongwe airport is appropriate for smaller aircraft traversing the continent.
- Permits can be acquired quickly.
- The sole handler is well experienced and capable of handling all situations.