Kigali Airport

Kigali Airport

Kigali Airport, formerly known as Kanombe International Airport, is Rwanda's main international airport and is located a few miles from Kigali's business district. Few had heard of it until a plane carrying the country's president, Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana together with the president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was shot down in 1994 as it was coming in to land; an event which triggered the infamous Rwanda genocide of 1994. Mainly servicing Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, Qatar Airways and RwandAir, exact passenger numbers are not known although it is estimated that they are now around one million per annum. The airport also acts as a military base. As the present site has no further physical room for development, a new airport is being built some 25 miles south of Kigali, Bugesera International Airport, which will be able to handle around 1.7 million additional passengers a year in addition to Kigal Airport's capacity. Planning for this new airport includes an option for a second runway and is being built in stages with a final completion date expected sometime in 2032.

If you are familiar with Rwanda, you will know that it is a litter and cleanliness 'obsessed' country which is often rare (but most welcomed) for the region of Africa. As such, bringing plastic bags into the country has been legally banned since 2008 and any plastic bags in your luggage will be confiscated at the airport. If you have bought anything inflight or at the duty free of another airport before arriving in Kigali, you'll run into similar problems. Cabin crews will be able to provide the latest advice on their proper disposal. The airport itself is also clean and tidy but due to its size, it's not great for stayovers for connecting flights not least because there are no facilities for a quick kip and if you are in need of sustenance, it's VERY expensive. Please also be aware that entry to the terminal is restricted until 3 hours before departure. Watch the video (below) of a plane coming into land at Kigali Airport and see what it is like to making a landing in Rwanda.

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