Port Bouet Airport
|Félix Houphouët-Boigny International Airport|
|Airport type||Military / Public|
|Location||Port-Bouët, Côte d'Ivoire|
|Hub for||Air Côte d'Ivoire|
Port Bouet Airport (IATA: ABJ, ICAO: DIAP), also known as Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport, is located 10 miles (16 kilometres) south east of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. It is the largest airport in the country for air traffic. The airport is the main hub of the national airline Air Côte d'Ivoire.
The airport is managed by Aeria, a private Ivorian company, who continually developed the airport over the decades and contributing to making it one of the most modern and one of the main hubs of West Africa.
Disturbances that took place in Côte d'Ivoire in the early 2000s had a negative impact on the airport. It is a strategic infrastructure for both the evacuation of foreign nationals and the delivery of military equipment. In November 2004, during the French–Ivorian clashes that occurred in Abidjan, the airport was looted and damaged. It was taken back by French troops and returned to the Ivorian government in the second half of November. The airport was later refurbished by the Ivorian government and modernized with new modern facilities.
On the night of 2 to 3 April 2011, the airport was again taken by the French troops in order to evacuate French nationals and foreigners, as the final assault against the presidential palace was announced, during the battle for Abidjan. After the civil war ended in April 2011, the airport was returned to the Ivorian government and development projects, paused for almost a decade, were restarted.
Before the decade of political and military turmoil, the Felix-Houphouet-Boigny airport was among the most important in West Africa, with passenger traffic exceeding one million travelers in the late 1990s. The succession of political and military crises has seriously affected the country's image and reduced the importance of the airport in the sub-region in terms of traffic.
*Figure from 1998 is the current highest record of yearly passenger handling for this airport.
Following the gradual recovery of economic activities in Côte d'Ivoire from 2012, investments and projects to increase the capacity of the airport, provided in March 2010, are in the works since October 2011.
In February 2012, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, president of Aeria's board of directors wants to make the airport suitable for support of Airbus A380. Air France does not deny, in the medium and long term, to eventually use the A380 on the Paris-Abidjan line in the event of a strong economic growth.
On 4 May 2012, PROPARCO loans 10 billion CFA francs (15 million euros) to Aeria to fund a major expansion and modernization program for the airport. This loan is part of the renewal of Aeria's concession, effective 1 January 2010, for a period of 20 years. This concession provides investment programs in increments of five years. The first slice of 24 million dollars, includes the renovation of the international terminal, the rehabilitation of the charter terminal and development of new infrastructure.
In addition, there are provided an extension of the international terminal of a surface 11 000 to 26 000 m², the refurbishment of the aircraft parking area, renovation of access roads and the construction of a new parking lot. The ultimate goal is to create a commercial zone next to the airport, with a lodging area, hangars, a convention center, a free zone, office buildings, warehouses, exhibition halls, a shopping center and housing for dedicated staff. On 16 June 2012, the Radisson Hotels group announced the laying of the first stone of the future Radisson Blu at the airport. The construction of the five-star hotel, which will have 252 rooms, will take 24 months.
Airlines and destinations
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport is densely connected to Europe (primarily via Air France, which offers ten weekly flights and Brussels Airlines) and to the rest of West Africa. Usually, the airport is served by over 20 airlines, covering more than 35 destinations.
Like most other airports in the sub-region, Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport hosts the hub of the national flag carrier, namely Air Côte d'Ivoire. It serves as a strategic platform for the company because it provides re-routing (correspondence) for passengers collected at airports of lower rank.
Accidents and incidents
- 3 January 1987: a Varig Boeing 707-379C registration PP-VJK operating flight 797 from Abidjan to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão crashed due to a failure on engine 1 shortly after take-off. While attempting to return to the airport for an emergency landing, it crashed on a field 18 km away from Abidjan's airport. Of the 51 passengers and crew aboard, a single passenger survived.
- 30 January 2000: Kenya Airways flight 431, crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Port Bouet. Of the 179 passengers and crew on board the Airbus 310, only ten persons survived.
- Airport information for DIAP at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- A-Z World Airports Online: Abidjan International Airport (ABJ/DIAP)
- List of the busiest airports in Africa
- Aéroport Félix-Houphouët-Boigny : Tout sur l’aérogare de fret moderne de 21 milliard de Fcfa - article from Le Patriote on Abidjan.net published on 7 March 2014]
- La force française Licorne prend le contrôle de l'aéroport d'Abidjan – France 24
- Inquiétude pour la communauté française d'Abidjan – Le Monde Afrique
- Aéroport d'Abidjan: bilan positif, de gros investissements en vue - article d'Acturoutes publié le 5 mars 2014.
- Interview with Général Abdoulaye Coulibaly – L'Expression on Abidjan.net
- Rognone, DG AERIA : « Les temps sont durs » - article de Ouest Afrique Économie publié le 2 décembre 2001.
- L'A380 d'Air France sur la ligne Abidjan-Paris décollera en avril 2014 - article d'Acturoutes publié le 23 mai 2013.
- Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport : Charter terminal works launched yesterday – L'Expression on Abidjan.net. Consulté le 16 novembre 2012.
- Félix Houphouët-Boigny airport : a 50% passenger increase in 2012 – a FratMat.info article published on the 28th of Janvier 2013.
- Infrastructures aéroportuaires / Modernisation de l’aéroport d’Abidjan : 21 milliards FCFA investis dans la réhabilitation et l’extension de l’aérogare de fret - article from L’intelligent d’Abidjan on Abidjan.net published on 3 March 2014.
- Modernisation et extension de Aéria – Banzio pour le déguerpissement des populations – Le Temps sur Abidjan.net
- Inauguration de l'aérogare charter d'Abidjan, Soro rallume les réacteurs du développement – Nord-Sud sur Abidjan.net
- Air France, qui propose déjà sept vols hebdomadaires entre Paris et Abidjan opérés par des Boeing B777-200 et des B777-300, va augmenter de façon pérenne dès son programme d'été… – La Tribune
- L'aéroport Houphouët-Boigny se modernise – Journal d'Abidjan
- Modernisation de l'aéroport d'Abidjan financé par Proparco – Marchés Tropicaux & Méditerranéens
- Fichier PDF d'explication succincte du projet de modernisation et d'extension de l'aéroport FHB, sur geomensura.fr
- Radisson Blu Hotel Abidjan Airport for Ivory Coast – Hotel & Restaurant.co.za
- Abidjan aura son Radisson Blu – Jeune Afrique Économie
- Radisson Blu: Un hôtel flambant neuf dans 24 mois, à Port-Bouët – Nord-Sud sur Abidjan.net
- "Air Côte d'Ivoire W13 Operation Changes as of 04NOV13". Airline Route. 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
- Arik Air begin service to Abidjan from March 2014
- February 2015 Timetable, http://www.flyasky.com/asky/horaires/lbv
- Camair-Co start service to Abidjan
- April 2014 Timetable, http://www.eagleatlanticairlines.com/www.eagleatlanticairlines.com/us/en/sched.html
- Hinshaw, Drew; McGroarty, Patrick (13 August 2014). "Ebola Virus: Nigeria and Ivory Coast Restrict Flights From Countries Hit by Outbreak". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Ivory Coast Airline to Resume Flights to Ebola-Affected Nations". Bloomberg News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Accident description PP-VJK". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Na escuridão da noite africana". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 345–351. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.