Francisco Mendes International Airport

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Francisco Mendes
International Airport
Francisco Mendes Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea (ASA)
Location Praia, Cape Verde
Coordinates 14°55′34″N 23°29′41″W / 14.9261°N 23.4948°W / 14.9261; -23.4948Coordinates: 14°55′34″N 23°29′41″W / 14.9261°N 23.4948°W / 14.9261; -23.4948

Francisco Mendes International Airport was an airport located on Santiago Island in Cape Verde. It was opened in 1961, and was named after African nationalist Francisco Mendes. It was located about 2 km east of central Praia in the southeastern part of the island of Santiago and in the westernmost part of Achada Grande Tras next to Achada Grande Frente.


On 28 September 1998, a TACV de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter (registered D4-CAX) carrying Carlos Veiga, then Prime Minister of Cape Verde, 18 other passengers and three crew members capt/instructor Socorro, first officer Elianne and third cockpit crew, crash-landed at the airport (serving Praia at that time) during a landing attempt in stormy weather, in which one bodyguard of the minister was killed. Four other people were injured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Upon approach following the flight from Preguiça Airport, the aircraft had been hit by a gust of wind in an instant when the pilots intended to execute a left turn, and forced down.[1]

In late 2005, the airport was deactivated, and replaced by the new Praia International Airport (since 2012 Nelson Mandela International Airport).

The runway no longer exists, the new main road linking Praia and the north of the island as an alternate route and a second road to the port would replace the runway. Around at a third of its former length is a traffic circle. It features two avenues, in the south Avenida John F. Kennedy and in the north Avenida Aristides Pereira.

The former terminal and cargo building still exists along with its former tarmac but they are abandoned.

A couple of industrial buildings started to appear in the south side in 2010.