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 By 1935, the grass runway surfaces had been replaced by murram.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.

In February 2015, the Government of South Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), gave the Government of Uganda a grant of USh27 billion (US$10 million), towards modernization of Entebbe International Airport.[5]

Passenger traffic[edit]

Entebbe International Airport served 781,428 international passengers in 2007.[6] 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).[7] 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.[8]

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%[9]


Passenger facilities include a left-luggage office, banks, ATMs, foreign exchange bureaux, restaurants and duty-free shops.[10] Entebbe International Airport uses the jetway boarding bridge system. The head office of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority is on the airport property.[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The passenger terminal building currently in use
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 ground handling at Entebbe International Airport.
Airlines Destinations
British Airways London-Heathrow[12]
Brussels Airlines Brussels, Kigali
Eagle Air Arua, Yei
Charter: Apoka, Ishasha, Kasese, Kisoro, Mweya, Pakuba, Semliki, Soroti
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai-International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi (begins 1 May 2015)[13]
Fastjet Dar es Salaam,[14] Kilimanjaro (begins 31 March 2015)[15]
flydubai Bujumbura, Dubai-International[16]
Fly-SAX Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
Kenya Airways Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
KLM Amsterdam[17]
Precision Air Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro
Qatar Airways Doha, Kigali[18]
Royal Air Maroc Charter: Agadir[citation needed][dubious ]
RwandAir Juba,[19] Kigali, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta[20]
South African Airways Johannesburg-OR Tambo
South Supreme Airlines Juba, Khartoum[citation needed]
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 Bunia, Goma, Juba,[21] Kisangani,[22] Lubumbashi

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-International, Liège, Pemba
BidAir Cargo Johannesburg-OR Tambo
EgyptAir Cargo Cairo, Sharjah[23]
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum[24]
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi[25]
Martinair Amsterdam[26]
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
South African Airways Cargo Johannesburg-OR Tambo
Uganda Air Cargo Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Johannesburg-OR Tambo
Chapman Freeborn[27] Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Ostend/Bruges
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul-Atatürk, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta
United Nations Humanitarian Air Service Rome-Fiumicino

Ground handling[edit]

As of May 2014, there are three ground-handling companies serving Entebbe International Airport:


  • 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.[31]

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 (6 February 2012). "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 (London). 
  5. ^ Kisembo, Didas (6 February 2015). "South Korea Gives Boost To Entebbe Airport Upgrade". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Khisa, Isaac (27 January 2013). "Uganda's Aviation Sector in Traffic Increase". The East African Online. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Kulabako, Faridah (16 November 2011). "Airline Traffic Building Up As Investment Interest Grows". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Khisa, Isaac (26 January 2013). "Uganda's Aviation Sector in 14.1 Percent Increase in Traffic". 
  9. ^ Khisa, Isaac (1 February 2014). "Kampala Rethinks Plan To Build Second Airport". The EastAfrican (Nairobi). Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Facilities at Entebbe International Airport". Whichairline.com. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "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"
  12. ^ ARN, . (10 December 2013). "Entebbe To Heathrow Frequency Increased To Four Times Weekly In 2014". Airlineroute.net (ARN). Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Airline News, . (12 July 2014). "Etihad To Launch Passenger Services To Entebbe, Uganda". BreakingTravelNews.Com. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  14. ^ News, . (14 September 2014). "Fastjet Launches Only Direct Air Link Between Uganda And Tanzania". Thisday (Lagos). Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Fastjet Entebbe Operation Changes from late-March 2015". Airline Route. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Sophia, Mary (28 August 2014). "Flydubai Opens New Routes To Bujumbura, Kigali And Entebbe". Zegabi.Com. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  17. ^ TeamHiPipo, . (27 February 2013). "KLM To Start Daily Flight From Entebbe To Amsterdam Airport". Hipipo.com. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  18. ^ Otage, Stephen (29 October 2011). "CAA Ready For Qatar Airlines Entry Ahead of Maiden Flight". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  19. ^ RwandAir begin service to Juba
  20. ^ http://allafrica.com/stories/201501190006.html
  21. ^ "UNMISS Has Resumed Direct Flights Between Juba And Entebbe". United Nations Television. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Thome, Wolfgang (18 August 2010). "UN Makes Entebbe Airport Regional African Peacekeeping Base". ETurboNews.com. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "EgyptAir Cargo Network". EgyptAir Cargo. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo Freighter Operations get ready for DWC move". Emirates SkyCargo. 2 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Baguma, Raymond (26 May 2014). "Etihad Launches Cargo Flight to Entebbe". New Vision. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Martinair Cargo Fleet at April 2014". Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "Chapman Freeborn Wins Air Charter Provider of The Year in Africa". Arabian Aerospace Online News Service. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  28. ^ Olanyo, Joseph (9 May 2008). "ENHAS Installs CCTV Cameras". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Thome, Wolfgang (11 December 2011). "ENHAS Loses Out As CAA Approves Self Handling for Air Uganda Come January 2012". Wolfgang H. Thome's Blog. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  30. ^ Vision, Reporter (21 May 2014). "Entebbe Airport Cargo Handling Firm Gets EU Nod". New Vision. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  31. ^ 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]