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Kigali Intl Airport

Kigali International Airport
Airport type civil aviation airport
Operator Rwanda Airports Authority
Serves Kigali
Location Kigali, Rwanda
Elevation AMSL 4,891 ft / 1,491 m
Coordinates 01°57′59″S 030°07′59″E / 1.96639°S 30.13306°E / -1.96639; 30.13306Coordinates: 01°57′59″S 030°07′59″E / 1.96639°S 30.13306°E / -1.96639; 30.13306
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 11,482 3,500 Paved

The passenger terminal, seen from the front

Kigali International Airport (IATA: KGL, ICAO: HRYR), formerly known as Gregoire Kayibanda International Airport, is the primary airport serving Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. It is the main air gateway for all destinations in the country, and in addition serves as a transit airport for Goma and Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The airport is located in the suburb of Kanombe, at the eastern edge of Kigali, approximately 12 kilometres (7.2 mi) from the city centre.

In 2004, the airport served 135,189 passengers. In 2008, the airport served about 300 000 passengers


There are three terminals at Kigali. The main two storey terminal was built to replace the single storey building, now housing the VIP terminal. The main terminal can handle 6 small to mid-size aircraft, but it can also handle up to a Boeing 747 jet. The south side of the runway has two helicopter pads with access to main runway. The pads are used for military helicopters. A cargo terminal is also located at the airport. The latest upgrades to the tarmac and support systems were made in 2002. There is free WiFi in the waiting area.

Rwandair has its head office on the grounds of Kigali International Airport. The airline previously had its head office in Centenary House in Kigali. The airline began moving its operations from Centenary House to the airport on Friday 14 May 2010. The airline was scheduled to be moved in by Monday 17 May 2010.

New Kigali (Bugesera) International Airport

There are plans to replace the current airport with a new one located south of Kigali on the south side of the Nyabarongo River in Bugesera. A new airport location is needed as the existing airport does not allow for growth (no room for additional runway and facilities). The new airport will have one runway, but it can allow a second to be added later. The project should begin in 2010, ready for flights by 2012 and completed the first phase by 2025.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Burundi Bujumbura
Air Uganda Entebbe
Brussels Airlines Brussels
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Bujumbura, Entebbe
Kenya Airways Bujumbura, Nairobi
KLM Amsterdam [begins 31 October]
RwandAir Bujumbura, Cyangugu, Dar es Salaam, Dubai, Entebbe, Johannesburg, Kilimanjaro, Kinshasa [begins October 2010] Nairobi, Mombasa
South African Express Johannesburg [Pending approval from government]

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Astral Aviation Nairobi
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa, Entebbe, Lagos
Martinair Cargo Amsterdam, Nairobi [operates flights in paternership with KLM Cargo]
Silverback Cargo Freighters Addis Ababa, Bujumbura, Dubai, Jeddah, Johannesburg

Incidents and accidents

  • 6 April 1994 - A Falcon 50 owned by and carrying then-president of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down while approaching the airport, killing all 12 aboard including Habyarimana and then-president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, who were returning from a meeting to end Rwanda's civil war. Ironically the wreckage landed in front of the presidential palace. The attack was blamed on Tutsi rebels, and as a result within one hour of the crash Interahamwe militias had begun the Rwandan Genocide. There is no consensus on who actually shot down or ordered the attack on the plane.
  • 1 June 2004 - An Antonov 32 owned by Sun Air (9XR-SN), reportedly suffered some problems with the left main undercarriage after takeoff from Beni (Congo Democratic Republic). The airplane was headed for Goma, Congo, but diverted to Kigali for an emergency landing. The aircraft crashed on landing, causing the Russian pilots and Congolese passengers to sustain serious injuries. The An-32 involved in the accident had been detained in Goma mid-July 2003 because it carried a shipment of armaments destined for a Rwanda-backed militia in the Congolese Kasai region.
  • 12 November 2009, RwandAir Flight 205, a Bombardier CRJ-100 crashed into a VIP terminal shortly after an emergency landing; out of the 10 passengers and 5 crew, 1 passenger died.


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General Info
Country Rwanda
Time UTC+2
Latitude -1.968628
01° 58' 07.06" S
Longitude 30.139450
030° 08' 22.02" E
Elevation 4859 feet
1481 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 000° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.3
GND 121.7
APP 124.3

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
10/28 11483 x 148 feet
3500 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME KNM KIGALI 096X 114.9 At Field -

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

115/145 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (PURPLE)

CAUTION 14,900' peak (Volcano Karisimbi) 305 , 50 NM fr arpt.
FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)
RSTD Acft with max tkof wt over 77,000 lb make 180 turns in turn-around areas at rwyend. PPR

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