Entebbe International Airport (IATA: EBB, ICAO: 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 its largest city. 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 RAFFairey 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 By 1935, the grass runway surfaces had been replaced by murram.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. 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.
On 9 March 2009, AeroliftIlyushin Il-76 S9-SAB crashed into Lake Victoria just after takeoff from Entebbe airport, 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 the African Union Mission to Somalia. 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 to extend their service life or that the work had been certified could not be substantiated.