Kigali International Airport in Rwanda
Kigali International Airport that is formerly referred to as Kanombe International Airport is found within the Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It is the main gateway for all destinations in the country and it serves as transit airport for Goma and Bukavu in the eastern provinces of Rwanda.
During the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, Kigali International Airport was a major strategic point. And due to the fact that Rwanda is land-locked country, this acted as the easiest way to get in and out of Rwanda. The airport had two runways and later after the shot of the president of Rwanda plane, one runway was closed upon the request of Rwanda defense force.
For tourists who need to trek gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda or Congo, Kigali airport is the main entry and exit point for visitors. For instance, gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali is only when possible when one enters Rwanda through this beautiful airport. Hundred of visitors fly into Rwanda and trek gorillas in Uganda in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national park through this Kigali airport. Even when you talk of gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park or the Virunga in Congo, still the entry and exit point would be Kigali airport. In short Kigali International Airport is a pivotal asset to facilitating tourism in East Africa and the Great Lakes region. Another alternative route for visiting gorillas in Uganda is through Entebbe International Park, the gateway to the Pearl of Africa for tourism and business activities.
Kigali Airport served around 135,189 passengers around 2004, the number of passengers kept on increasing and by 2008 ,there were over 270,000 passengers being served by the airport. The Rwandan civil aviation authority announced to upgrade the airport so that they meet the increasing demand. The work was started in October 2012 and by the end of 2014, the airport was completed. The airport was designed to handle 400,000 passengers per year.
Presently the airport has three terminals, there is the main two-storied terminal that was constructed to replace the single storied building, it now houses the VIP terminal. The main terminal can handle 6 small to mid-sized aircraft and also with a Boeing 747 jets. The southern part of the runway comprises of 2 helicopter pads with access to the main runway and these pads are used by military helicopters. There is also cargo terminal that is found at the airport. The offices of RwandAir are found on the top floor of the building.
Kigali International Airport has been voted to 5th among African best airports. The ranking conducted by a renowned Canadian Aviation website, www.sleepinginairports.net, placed the airport on fifth place based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in 2015 Airport Survey. According to the website’s description, the fifth place results from renovations which have left the airport far brighter, roomier and more efficient.
Another issue that brings the airport among top five is the capacity of the airport to accommodate up to 1,5 million passengers going in hand with excellent locally sourced coffee, free Wi-Fi, and cheery staff additional to its location close to the city Centre. The establishment of the Rwanda airport has greatly improved tourism industry in Rwanda due to the fact the most of the people that travel to Rwanda, half 1.5 passengers are tourists. The airport itself is place of attraction due to newly upgrades that have been put in place.