Entebbe International Airport

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Entebbe International Airport
Airport type Public / Military
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda
Serves Entebbe, Kampala, Mukono
Location Entebbe, Uganda
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 3,782 ft / 1,153 m
Coordinates 00°02′41″N 032°26′35″E / 0.04472°N 32.44306°E / 0.04472; 32.44306Coordinates: 00°02′41″N 032°26′35″E / 0.04472°N 32.44306°E / 0.04472; 32.44306
Website Entebbe International Airport
EBB is located in Uganda
Location of airport in Uganda
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17/35 3,658 12,000 Asphalt
12/30 2,408 7,900 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Entebbe International Airport (IATA: EBBICAO: HUEN) is the principal international airport of Uganda. It is near the town of Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria, and about 41 km (25 mi), by road, southwest of the central business district of Kampala, the capital of Uganda and the largest city in that country.[3] The coordinates of the airport are 00°02'41"N, 032°26'35"E (Latitude: 0.044721; 32.443055). The headquarters of the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda were relocated to a new block off the airport highway.


The airport was first constructed in 1928/1929: The first aircraft to use the new airfield were RAF Fairey IIIs of the Cairo-Cape flight which landed on the 900 yards (820 m) grass runway on 17 February 1929. In January 1932 Imperial Airways began to use Entebbe on their Cape-to-Cairo mail services: At this stage, radio was installed. By 1935, the grass runway surfaces had been replaced by murram. In 1944-45 the main runway (12/30) was asphalted and extended to 1,600 yards (1,500 m). On 10 November 1951 the airport was formally re-opened after the facilities had been extended further: Runway 12/30 was now 3,300 yards (3,000 m), in preparation for services by the de Havilland Comet.

History was made on 7 February 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II took her flight back to London via El Adem, Libya after being proclaimed Queen after the death of King George VI.[4] Finally, the existing control tower of the “old airport” was constructed in 1957/58.

The current passenger terminal building was constructed in the mid to late 1970s, together with runway 17/35; the old runway 12/30 was shortened to its current length. The Old Entebbe airport is now used by Uganda's military forces. It was the scene of a hostage rescue operation by Israeli Sayeret Matkal, dubbed Operation Entebbe, in 1976, after an Arab-German hijacking of Air France Flight 139 following a stopover in Athens, Greece en route to Paris from Tel-Aviv. The scene of that rescue was the old terminal, which was recently demolished except for its control tower. In late 2007, a domestic terminal was constructed at the site of the old airport, leaving the new airport to handle international flights exclusively.

Passenger traffic[edit]

Entebbe International Airport served 781,428 international passengers in 2007.[5] The same source places the recorded figure of international arrivals in 2008 at 936,184 (+19.8% vs. 2007). In 2009, the recorded arrivals were 928,754 (-0.8% vs 2008). The decline was attributed to the effects of the Great Recession. The airport handled 1,023,437 international arrivals in 2010, according to published data (+10.2% vs 2009).[6] In 2011, international passenger traffic was estimated to have increased to 1.08 million, an increase of 5.24% compared with 2010. In January 2013, East African print media reported the 2012 international traffic at 1.23 million passengers, an increase of 14% from 2011.[7]

Passenger traffic
Year Passengers Difference
2007 781,428 +10.7%
2008 936,184 +19.8%
2009 928,754 - 0.8%
2010 1,023,437 +10.2%
2011 1,080,000 +5.2%
2012 1,230,000 +14.1%
2013 1,370,000 +11.4%[8]


Passenger facilities include an exchange office and left-luggage office.[9] Entebbe International Airport uses the jetway boarding bridge system. The head office of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority is on the airport property.[10] Other facilities include banks, ATMs, foreign exchange bureaux, restaurants and duty-free shops.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The passenger terminal building currently in use
Air Uganda McDonnell Douglas MD-87 at Entebbe International Airport.
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 ground handling at Entebbe International Airport.

Airlines offering scheduled passenger service to non-stop destinations:

Airlines Destinations
African Express Airways Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
Air Burundi Bujumbura
Air Uganda Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam, Juba, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Mogadishu,[11] Mombasa, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
British Airways London-Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
Eagle Air Arua, Gulu, Juba, Moyo, Yei
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Feeder Airlines Juba[12]
Kenya Airways Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
KLM Amsterdam
Nasair Asmara, Juba
Precision Air Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro
Qatar Airways Doha, Kigali[13]
Royal Daisy Airlines Juba
RwandAir Kigali
South African Airways Johannesburg-OR Tambo
South Supreme Airlines Juba, Khartoum
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Kigali
United Airlines Limited Adjumani, Arua, Gulu, Nebbi, Moyo, Pakuba

Airlines offering specialized passenger service to non-stop destinations:

Airlines Destinations
United Nations Humanitarian Air Service Goma, Bunia, Lubumbashi, Kisangani,[14] Juba[15]

Cargo airlines[edit]

An Air Urga Antonov An-24, operating for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, taxiing at Entebbe International Airport
Airlines Destinations
Astral Aviation Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
Avient Aviation Dubai, Liège, Pemba
BidAir Cargo OR Tambo International Airport
EgyptAir Cargo Cairo, Sharjah[16]
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai [17]
Martinair Amsterdam[18]
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
South African Airways Cargo Johannesburg-OR Tambo
Uganda Air Cargo Dubai, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Frankfurt
Chapman Freeborn[19] Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Ostend-Bruges
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk
United Nations Humanitarian Air Service Rome


  • In 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked and taken to Entebbe, and Israeli commandoes rescued the hostages in Operation Entebbe.
  • On 9 March 2009, Aerolift Ilyushin Il-76 S9-SAB crashed into Lake Victoria just after takeoff from Entebbe Airport, Uganda, killing all 11 people on board. Two of the engines had caught fire on take-off. The aircraft had been chartered by Dynacorp on behalf of AMISOM. The accident was investigated by Uganda's Ministry of Transport, which concluded that all four engines were time-expired and that Aerolift's claim that maintenance had been performed which extended their service life or that the work had been certified could not be substantiated.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for HUEN at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for EBB at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ Road Distance From Kampala To Entebbe International Airport with Map
  4. ^ English, Rebecca. "To Her Majesty, all my thoughts and prayers are with you, Mummie: The message the Queen Mother sent her daughter as she flew home to become Queen". Daily Mail. 
  5. ^ Khisa, Isaac (2013-01-27). "Uganda’s Aviation Sector In Traffic Increase". The East African Online. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  6. ^ Airline Traffic Builds Up At Entebbe Airport
  7. ^ International Passenger Traffic Data For 2012
  8. ^ Kampala Rethinks Plan To Build Second Airport
  9. ^ http://www.whichairline.com/airport/Entebbe-International-EBB#facilities
  10. ^ "Contacts" Archived December 17, 2009 at the Wayback Machine Civil Aviation Authority. 17 December 2009. Retrieved on 28 January 2013. "Contact Information Head Office Entebbe International Airport P.O. Box 5536, Kampala"
  11. ^ Air Uganda begin service to Mogadishu
  12. ^ Feeder Airlines Starts Daily Service Between Juba and Entebbe
  13. ^ Quatar Airways Begins Daily Service Between Entebbe And Doha
  14. ^ UN Makes Entebbe Airport Regional African Peacekeeping Base
  15. ^ UNMISS Has Resumed Direct Flights Between Juba And Entebbe
  16. ^ http://www.egyptair-cargo.com/cargo/Network.htm
  17. ^ Emirates SkyCargo Schedule
  18. ^ MP Cargo winter 2012 timetable
  19. ^ Chapman Freeborn Has Charter and Scheduled Cargo Service Out of Entebbe
  20. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Aerolift IL76 at Entebbe on Mar 9th 2009, impacted Lake Victoria after takeoff". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]