Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (IATA: KAN, ICAO: DNKN) is located in Kano, the capital city of Kano State of Nigeria. It was a Royal Air Force station before the country became independent. It is the main airport serving northern Nigeria and was named after politician Aminu Kano. The airport consists of an international and a domestic terminal. The terminals share the same runway. Construction started on a new domestic terminal and was commissioned on 23 May 2011. In 2009, the airport handled 323,482 passengers.
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is the oldest in Nigeria, with operations starting in 1936. In the first decades of operation, it became an important fuel stop for airlines flying long-haul services between Europe and Africa. Newer aircraft did not need such fuel stops any longer and, with the demise of the economy of Kano in the late 20th century, many international airlines stopped serving the airport. Until they indefinitely suspended services in June 2012, KLM was the only European airline serving Kano, which they had done without interruption since 1947. This makes KLM the longest-serving foreign airline in Nigeria.
The bulk of international flights cater for the large Lebanese community in Kano and Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
The airport serves civilian and military flights. Runway 06/24 is mainly used for civilian flights, while runway 05/23 primarily serves the Nigerian Air Force base at the south side of the airport. Runway 05/23 was in use for all operations, when the main runway was rehabilitated in the beginning of the 21st century. Between the two runways lie the terminal facilities.
The main terminal with the control tower serves international flights and domestic services operated by Arik Air. Facilities in the departure lounge are minimal, with a newsstand near the check-in counter and a small bar at airside. There is a small VIP lounge for business class passengers. Duty-free shops are currently closed. In the arrivals hall there is a small bar and a post office.
On the south side of the airport, along runway 06/24, is the domestic terminal currently serving operations of IRS Airlines. Facilities include a newsstand and small bar.
Construction of a new domestic terminal, adjacent to the main terminal building, started in the beginning of the 21st century. Construction was abandoned but was resumed. The operator of the airport, Federal Airports Authority Nigeria (FAAN), saw the completion of the new terminal in November 2009. It was commissioned on May 2011.
On 24 June 1956, a BOAC four-engine Canadair C-4 Argonaut airliner crashed on departure from Kano International. Of the 45 passengers and crew on board, only 13 survived.
On 22 January 1973, an AliaBoeing 707-320Ccrashed at Kano International while attempting to make a landing in high winds. 176 of the 202 passengers and crew on board were killed. It was and remains the worst aviation disaster in the history of Nigeria.
On 4 May 2002, EAS Airlines Flight 4226, a BAC 1-11-500 twin-engine jet crashed upon take-off from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, killing 71 passengers and crew on board as well as 78 more on the ground into whose houses the plane had crashed.