Nelson Mandela International Airport

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Praia International Airport
Praia International Airport.jpg
Airport type Public
Operator Aeroportos Segurança Aérea (ASA)
Location Praia, Cape Verde
Hub for TACV Cabo Verde Airlines
Elevation AMSL 230 ft / 70 m
Coordinates 14°55′27.12″N 23°29′38.04″W / 14.9242000°N 23.4939000°W / 14.9242000; -23.4939000Coordinates: 14°55′27.12″N 23°29′38.04″W / 14.9242000°N 23.4939000°W / 14.9242000; -23.4939000
Website RAI Website
RAI is located in Cape Verde
Location in Cape Verde
Direction Length Surface
ft m
3/21 6,876 2,096 asphalt

Nelson Mandela International Airport (IATA: RAIICAO: GVNP), also known as Praia International Airport, is an airport located on Santiago Island in Cape Verde. It was opened in late 2005, replacing the old Francisco Mendes International Airport. It is located about 3 km northeast of central Praia in the southeastern part of the island of Santiago and is in the northern part of the neighbourhood of Achada Grande Tras.


The first flight to the new airport was on 23 October 2005. Even though the airport serves the capital and largest city, Praia as well as the island of Santiago, Cape Verde's main international airport is Amílcar Cabral International Airport located on the smaller island of Sal.[1]

Once connected with a single road up to 2009, since that time, it connects with the Praia Circular Road a bypass which links the Praia-Tarrafal and the Praia-Cidade Velha Routes.

In January 2012 a Cape Verde government statement noted that Praia International Airport was renamed after South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, an icon for freedom in Africa, not without controversy.[2]

In 2013, the annual passenger number reached over 500,000 and numbered 505,497, it also had 8,978 air operations and transported 1,418 tonnes of cargo.[3][4]

In 2014, additional aircraft parking area was added and accommodated nine planes, mainly Airbus and Boeing planes with three spots for the ATR, also an additional 6,000 square meters of the terminal building were added,[5] Also on June 12, 2014, the runway will be extended to 2,600 meters from 2,100, it will cost about $5 billion escudos (€ 36 Mio)[6]

Starting on June 2, 2017, it will have the first flight with the Azores in the country as Azores Airlines will connect flights with Ponta Delgada and Praia.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Azores Airlines Ponta Delgada (begins 2 June 2017)
Seasonal: Boston (begins 1 June 2017)
Binter Canarias
operated by Binter CV
Sal, São Vicente
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Bissau
TACV Bissau, Boa Vista, Dakar, Fortaleza, Lisbon, Maio, Providence (RI), Recife, Sal, São Filipe, São Nicolau, São Vicente
TAP Portugal Lisbon


Year Passengers
2012 497,049
2013 505,497


  1. ^ "New Cape Verde Airport to Open Soon". Visão News. 
  2. ^ "Cape Verde Names Airport After Nelson Mandela". All Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Relative Statistics in Airports" (PDF) (in Portuguese). ASA. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Statistics in Airports" (PDF) (in Portuguese). ASA. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Aeroporto da cidade da Praia via ser ampliado e modernizado com apodo do BAD". Expresso das Ilhas (in Portuguese). 
  6. ^ "Pista do Aeroporto da Praia vai aumentar para 2,6 km - PM de Cabo Verde" (in Portuguese). Papia Cabo Verde. 12 June 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Praia International Airport at Wikimedia Commons