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Abemama Atoll Airport

Abemama Atoll Airport (IATA: AEA, ICAO: NGTB), often abbreviated Abemama Airport, is the airport serving Abemama, Kiribati. It is located on the north of the atoll, 200 meters northeast of the village of Tabiang.

The airport is served by Air Kiribati from the international airport at South Tarawa.

Abemama Atoll Airport
Airport type Public
Serves Abemama
Location Tabiang
Elevation AMSL 8 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 0°29′27″N

Abemama Atoll Airport

Location of the airport in Kiribati

Direction Length Surface
ft m
4,081 1,244


Abemama Airport was originally built in late 1943 by the United States Navy Seabees of the 95th Naval Construction Battalion for the United States Army Air Forces. Seventh Air Force assigned the 30th Bombardment Group to the airfield in early January 1944, basing four squadrons of B-24 Liberator heavy bombers on the base. From Abemama, the USAAF attacked Japanese targets in the Marshall Islands in preparation for the Battle of Kwajalein Atoll (29 January-3 February 1944) and the Battle of Eniwetok (17–21 February 1944). For the United States, these battles represented both the next step in its island-hopping march to Japan, and a victory significant for morale, because it was the first time the United States penetrated the "outer ring" of the Japanese Pacific defensive sphere.

In March 1944, the USAAF combat units moved west into the Marshalls, and Abemama became a transport hub for the 9th Troop Carrier Squadron until August. In addition to the Army units, some Naval aviation units used the airfield in 1944. With the movement of the Allied forces west towards Japan, the airfield on Abemama Atoll was abandoned by the Americans, and after the war, was developed into a commercial airport.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Kiribati Tarawa

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