Banjul International Airport

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Banjul International Airport
Airport type Public
Serves Banjul
Location Banjul, Gambia
Elevation AMSL 29 m / 95 ft
Coordinates 13°20′16.66″N 16°39′07.94″W / 13.3379611°N 16.6522056°W / 13.3379611; -16.6522056Coordinates: 13°20′16.66″N 16°39′07.94″W / 13.3379611°N 16.6522056°W / 13.3379611; -16.6522056
BJL is located in The Gambia
Location of airport in Gambia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14/32 3,600 11,811 Asphalt

Banjul International Airport, also known as Yundum International (IATA: BJLICAO: GBYD), is the international airport of Banjul, capital of the Gambia, built during World War II.[1]


Royal Air Force fitters assisted by native helpers change the engine of a Lockheed Hudson aircraft at a West African base (probably Yundum) using an improvised hoist (1943)

The only airport in Gambia is at Yundum, Post war Yundum airport was used for passenger flights. Both British South American Airways and the British Overseas Airways Corporation had services, the former moving its service to Dakar, which had a concrete runway (as opposed to pierced steel planking).[2] The airport was rebuilt in 1963 and the building is still in use today.


The airport today has a number of amenities, including bars serving primarily snacks and drinks, as well as small shops selling local souvenirs and stalls representing local cell phone providers, all of which are before security. Airside facilities include a bar, restaurant and a number of duty-free stores selling primarily alcohol and other gifts. The head office of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority is located on the airport property.[3]

In the event of an emergency on any of the NASA Space Shuttles, Banjul International Airport had been selected as an augmented landing site. Gambia was the perfect location when the shuttle was launched with a low, 28-degree inclination.[4][5] In 2001 NASA announced that Banjul airport would no longer be used as an augmented landing site because latterly, NASA would launch shuttles up at 51.6 degrees to the International Space Station, making air bases in Spain and France more suitable for an emergency landing.[6]

The airport was the main hub of Gambia Bird until the airline ceased operations in late 2014.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Arik Air Accra,[7] Freetown (suspended),[a] Lagos[10]
Binter Canarias
operated by NAYSA
Gran Canaria[11]
Brussels Airlines Brussels, Dakar
Corendon Dutch Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal charter: Birmingham, Helsinki, London-Gatwick, Manchester (UK)
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia Charter: Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal charter: London Gatwick
Transavia Seasonal: Amsterdam
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels
TUI fly Netherlands Charter: Amsterdam
Vueling Barcelona

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 4 July 1946, a Bristol Freighter 170 registration G-AHJB flying from Bathurst (now Banjul) to Natal on a delivery flight to Argentina, due to fuel shortage, forced the crew to ditch the plane. The crewmembers were rescued by an American Steamer. The probable cause was powerplant failure resulting from shortage of fuel due to faulty navigation. No one died in the accident.[12]
  • On 7 September 1946, a British South American Airways Avro 685 York I registration G-AHEW named "Star Leader" flying from London to Buenos Aires via Lisbon, Bathurst (Banjul)-Jeshwang, Natal, Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont and Montevideo lost control and crashed shortly after takeoff from Bathurst. The cause of the loss of control cannot be determined with certainty, but a mishandling of the controls by the captain is the most likely explanation. All 24 occupants died.[13][14][15]
  • On 10 October 1997 a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air operated by NAYSA Aerotaxis crashed on approach 3 miles before the runway. All, but 1 of the 10 occupants died.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beginning in July 2014, Gambia banned all flights and passengers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone due to the regional Ebola outbreak. On 11 August 2014, Nigeria banned Gambia Bird due to the Ebola outbreak, despite no cases in Gambia or direct flights by the airline from infected countries to Nigeria.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Yundum". Britannica Online encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hansard HC Deb 29 January 1947, vol 432, cols 202". 
  4. ^ "SPACE SHUTTLE EMERGENCY LANDING SITES". 2011-07-20. Archived from the original on 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Lacey, Marc (4 September 2005). "Memories Linger Where NASA Lights Shone in Gambia". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Aril Air Adds New Accra / Banjul Service from August 2014". Airline Route. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Liberia: Arik Air Suspends Flights to Liberia, Sierra Leon Over Ebola Virus". 28 July 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2014. The Gambian Government took the proactive decision to stop airlines (including Arik Air) from bringing inbound passengers from Monrovia, Conakry (Guinea) and Freetown into Banjul. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 2014 Timetable, Arik Air,
  11. ^ once a week 2014-2015,
  12. ^ "Accident description G-AHJB". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Accident description G-AHEW". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "23 Killed in Crash of Plane in Africa". Pittsburg Press. 7 September 1946. p. 1. 
  15. ^ B.S.A.A. York which crashedsoon after take-off at night from Yundum airfield on September 7th, 1946, Access August 2011

External links[edit]