Murtala Muhammed International Airport

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Murtala Muhammed
International Airport
Lagos Airport Iwelumo-5.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)
Serves Ikeja
Location Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 135 ft / 41 m
Coordinates 06°34′38″N 003°19′16″E / 6.57722°N 3.32111°E / 6.57722; 3.32111
LOS is located in Lagos
Location of Airport in Lagos
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18R/36L 3,900 12,794 Asphalt
18L/36R 2,743 8,999 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 6,700,000
Passenger change 15–16 Decrease0.7%
Economic impact (2011) $711 million[1]
Social impact (2011) 123.3 thousand[1]
Sources: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria[2] WAD[3] GCM[4]

Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA)[2] (IATA: LOSICAO: DNMM) is an international airport located in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria, and is the major airport serving the entire state. The airport was initially built during World War II and is named after Murtala Muhammed, the 4th military ruler of Nigeria.


Lagos Airport in 1969. International terminal (right) and Domestic terminal (left).
Ticketing Hall in Domestic Terminal.
Main Departures Hall in Domestic Terminal.

The airport at Ikeja near Lagos was built during World War II. West African Airways Corporation was formed in 1947 and had its main base at Ikeja. De Havilland Doves were initially operated on WAACs Nigerian internal routes and then West African services.[5] Larger Douglas Dakotas were added to the Ikeja-based fleet from 1957.[6]

Originally known as Lagos International Airport,[7] it was renamed in the mid 1970s, during construction of the new international terminal, after a former Nigerian military head of state Murtala Muhammed. The international terminal was modelled after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The new terminal opened officially on 15 March 1979. It is the main base for Nigeria's largest airline, Arik Air.

Murtala Muhammed International Airport consists of an international and a domestic terminal, located about one kilometre from each other. Both terminals share the same runways. This domestic terminal used to be the old Ikeja Airport. International operations moved to the new international airport when it was ready while domestic operations moved to the Ikeja Airport, which became the domestic airport. The domestic operations were relocated to the old Lagos domestic terminal in 2000 after a fire. A new domestic privately funded terminal known as MMA2 has been constructed and was commissioned on 7 April 2007.

During the late 1980s and 1990s, the international terminal had a reputation of being a dangerous airport. From 1992 through 2000, the US Federal Aviation Administration posted warning signs in all US international airports advising travelers that security conditions at Lagos Airport did not meet ICAO minimum standards. In 1993, the FAA suspended air service between Lagos and the United States. During this period, security at LOS continued to be a serious problem.[8] Travelers arriving in Lagos were harassed both inside and outside of the airport terminal by criminals. Airport staff contributed to its reputation. Immigration officers required bribes before stamping passports, while customs agents demanded payment for nonexistent fees. In addition, several jet airplanes were attacked by criminals who stopped planes taxiing to and from the terminal and robbed their cargo holds.

Following Olusegun Obasanjo's democratic election in 1999, the security situation at Lagos began to improve. Airport police instituted a "shoot on sight" policy for anyone found in the secure areas around runways and taxiways, stopping further airplane robberies. Police secured the inside of the terminal and the arrival areas outside. The FAA ended its suspension of direct flights to Nigeria in 2001 in recognition of these security improvements.[citation needed] By 2010, the FAA had granted the airport its highest safety rating.[8]

In 2010, the airport served 6,273,545 passengers.[9]

Recent years[when?] have seen substantial improvements at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Malfunctioning and non-operational infrastructures such as air conditioning and luggage belts have been repaired. The entire airport has been cleaned, and many new restaurants and duty-free stores have opened. Bilateral Air Services Agreements signed between Nigeria and other countries are being revived and new ones signed. These agreements have seen the likes of Emirates, Ocean Air, Delta and China Southern Airlines express interest and receive landing rights to Nigeria's largest international airport.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air France Airbus A330-300 and Emirates Boeing 777-300ER at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, July 2013
Airlines Destinations
Aero Contractors Abuja, Accra, Asaba, Benin City, Calabar, Enugu, Kano, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Uyo
Air Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan[10]
Africa World Airlines Accra
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Namibia1 Accraa (begins 25 March 2018)[11], Windhoek-Hosea Kutako (begins 25 March 2018)[12]
Air Peace Abuja, Accra, Asaba, Calabar, Enugu, Kebbi, Owerri, Port Harcourt
Arik Air Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Asaba, Banjul, Benin City, Calabar, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Enugu, Freetown, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Libreville, Luanda, Monrovia, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Warri
ASKY Airlines Douala, Libreville, Lomé
Azman Air Abuja, Kano
British Airways London–Heathrow
Dana Air Abuja, Accra, Port Harcourt, Uyo
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK (begins 24 March 2018)[13]
DiscoveryAir Nigeria Abuja
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
First Nation Airways Abuja, Port Harcourt
Kenya Airways Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
KLM Amsterdam
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Med-View Airline Abuja, Accra, Enugu, Jeddah, Kano, London–Gatwick, Port Harcourt, Yola
Meridiana2 Milan–Malpensa
Middle East Airlines Abidjan, Beirut
Overland Airways Asaba, Ibadan, Ilorin
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Rwandair Kigali
South African Airways Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Virgin Atlantic London–Heathrow

^a : Air Namibia has been granted 5th freedom rights and will service traffic between Windhoek and Accra.[14]

^2 : Meridiana's flight from Milan-Malpensa to Lagos continues to Accra, but the initial outbound flight from MXP to Lagos is nonstop. Meridiana does not have local traffic rights on the LOS – ACC sector.


Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo N'Djamena, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Allied Air Ostend/Bruges
Cargolux Luxembourg
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air
Accra, Bamako, Brussels
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Accra, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Liège, London–Heathrow[15]
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta[16]
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo
Qatar Airways Cargo Accra, Doha
Saudia Cargo Dubai–Al Maktoum, Jeddah, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Riyadh, Sharjah[17]
Turkish Airlines Cargo Dubai–Al Maktoum, Istanbul–Atatürk[18]

Other facilities[edit]

The airport includes the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.[19] It also houses the head office of the Accident Investigation Bureau.[20] The Lagos office of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is located in Aviation House on the grounds of the airport.[21]

Arik Air's head office is in the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of the airport.[22] Aero Contractors has its head office in the Private Terminal of the Domestic Wing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.[23][24]

At one time Nigeria Airways had its head office in Airways House on the airport property.[25] Prior to its disestablishment Afrijet Airlines had its head office in the NAHCO Building on the grounds of the airport.[26]


These data show number of passengers movements into the airport, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria's Aviation Sector Summary Reports.

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Passengers 3,817,338 3,848,757 4,162,424 5,136,920 5,644,572 6,273,545 6,746,290 6,879,286 7,261,178 7,374,507 7,164,169
Growth (%) Increase 6.74% Increase 0.82% Increase 8.15% Increase23.41% Increase 9.88% Increase11.74% Increase 7.54% Increase 1.97% Increase 5.55% Increase 1.56% Decrease 2.8%
Source: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Aviation Sector Reports (2010-2013,[27] 2014,[28] Q3-Q4 of 2015,[29] and Q1-Q2 of 2016,[30])[31]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 20 November 1969, Nigeria Airways Flight 825 crashed while on approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport. All 87 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • Early in 1981,[32] Douglas C-47B 5N-ARA of Arax Airlines was damaged beyond repair in an accident and was subsequently reduced to spares.[33]
  • On 26 September 1992, a Nigerian Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed three minutes after take-off in the nearby Ejigbo canal. Three engines failed, high take-off weight. All 158 people on board were killed.
  • On 11 November 1996, ADC Airlines Flight 86, a Boeing 727-231 was approaching the airport whilst avoiding a potential collision the 727 pilots took evasive action but overcompensated: within sixteen seconds the plane was flying upside down approaching Mach 1. The inverted aircraft disintegrated on impact, near Ejirin, killing all 153 passengers and crew.
  • On 28 November 2003, Lagos control cleared Hydro Air 501, a Boeing 747-200 from Brussels Airport for a landing at Runway 19R. The aircraft ended up hitting a stack of asphalt, then slewed left with its first engine in contact with the surface until the nose wheel came to rest in a drainage ditch. The Ministry of Aviation report concluded that the cause of the accident was that the aircraft was cleared to land on a runway that was "supposed" to have been closed.
  • On 22 October 2005, Bellview Airlines Flight 210, bound for Abuja, crashed after takeoff, killing all 117 people on board.[34]
  • On 3 June 2012, Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in close proximity of the airport. The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, is reported to have banked sharply prior to attempting to land at LOS, subsequently crashing in the nearby residential area of Agege, killing all 153 passengers and crew on board and 10 others on the ground.[35]
  • On 3 October 2013, Associated Aviation Flight 361 crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane was a Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia. 15 people died and 5 people survived the incident.[36]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Murtala Muhammed International airport – Economic and social impacts". Ecquants. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Airport information for DNMM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  4. ^ Airport information for LOS at Great Circle Mapper.
  5. ^ Sykes, 1973, p. 10
  6. ^ Gradidge, 2006, p. 205
  7. ^ "Lagos Airport - Murtala Muhammed International (LOS)". Lagos Airport. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "FAA Grants Nigeria Its Highest Air Safety Rating". SSi (Safety & Security Instruction). Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Nigerian airports handled 57.55m passengers in four years". Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Air Côte d'Ivoire English  » Flight schedules". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Delta adds New York – Lagos service from March 2018". Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian Airlines. "Page not found". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Etihad Crystal Cargo Schedule" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "Saudia Cargo" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Contact Information." Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Retrieved on 8 September 2010.
  20. ^ "Home." Accident Investigation Bureau. Retrieved on 4 November 2011. "HEAD OFFICE Muritala Muhammed International Airport P.M.B 016, MMIA,Ikeja, Lagos"
  21. ^ "Contact Us." Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 9 September 2010.
  22. ^ "New aircraft to make arik air the largest commercial carrier in nigeria arik air reflects on six months of flying "the new experience"." Arik Air. 28 March 2007. Retrieved on 8 September 2010. "For more information, please contact: Gbemiga Ogunieye, Head of Communications, Arik Air Ltd, Arik Air Aviation Centre, Murtula Muhammed Domestic Airport, PO Box 10468, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria."
  23. ^ "Privacy Policy." Aero Contractors. Retrieved on 8 September 2010. "Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited, (Private Terminal), Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria."
  24. ^ "Offices & Phone Numbers." Aero Contractors. Retrieved on 8 September 2010.
  25. ^ World Air Transport statistics, Issues 24–28. International Air Transport Association, 1980. 4. Retrieved from Google Books on 11 June 2012. "NIGERIA AIRWAYS LIMITED – WT Airways House Murtala Muhammed Airport PO 8ox 136 Lagos. Nigeria"
  26. ^ "Directory:World airlines." Flight International. 16–22 March 2004. 53.
  27. ^ "Passenger Only Aviation Data Report 2010-13 to Q1 2014". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  28. ^ "Aviation Sector Summary Report Q4 2014 - Q1 2015". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  29. ^ "NIGERIA AVIATION SECTOR Q3-Q4 2015 REPORT". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  30. ^ "Nigerian Aviation Sector Summary Report: Q1-Q2 2016". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "African/Arab Countries". Aviation in Malta. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  33. ^ "5N-ARA Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  34. ^ "[1] BBC News article."
  35. ^ Urquhart, Conal (3 June 2012). "At least 147 Killed in Nigeria Plane Crash". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  36. ^ "The Aviation Herald". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 


  • Gradidge, Jennifer (2006). The DC-3 The First Seventy Years. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-332-3. 
  • Sykes, Terry (1973). The DH.104 Dove and DH.114 Heron. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-033-2. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Murtala Muhammed International Airport at Wikimedia Commons