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Sir Seretse Khama International Airport

Coordinates: 24°33′19″S 025°55′06″E / 24.55528°S 25.91833°E / -24.55528; 25.91833
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Sir Seretse Khama
International Airport
Airport typePublic
OperatorCivil Aviation Authority of Botswana
LocationGaborone, Botswana
Hub forAir Botswana
Elevation AMSL3,299 ft / 1,006 m
Coordinates24°33′19″S 025°55′06″E / 24.55528°S 25.91833°E / -24.55528; 25.91833
GBE is located in Botswana
Location within Botswana
Direction Length Surface
ft m
08/26 13,123 4,000[1] Concrete
Statistics (2021[2])
View of Sir Seretse Khama International Airport from tarmac

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (IATA: GBE, ICAO: FBSK), located 15 kilometres (9 mi) north of downtown Gaborone, is the main international airport of the capital city of Botswana. The airport is named after Sir Seretse Khama, the first president of Botswana.[3] It was opened in 1984 to handle regional and international traffic. It has the largest passenger movement in the country. In 2017 the airport got its first special economic zone which would house in the following departments: CAAB, Botswana Innovation Hub, ITPA and diamond hub for diamond sector.[4][5]


British Airways discontinued its flight to London's Heathrow Airport via Johannesburg in April 1999.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Air BotswanaCape Town, Francistown, Harare, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Kasane, Lusaka, Maun
AirlinkJohannesburg–O. R. Tambo
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa

Incidents and accidents[edit]

On 11 October 1999, an Air Botswana pilot, Captain Chris Phatswe, commandeered a parked Aérospatiale ATR 42 aircraft A2-ABB without authorization in the early morning and took off. Once in the air, he asked by radio to speak to the president, Air Botswana's general manager, the station commander, central police station and his girlfriend, among others. Because the president was out of the country, he was allowed to speak to the vice president. In spite of all attempts to persuade him to land and discuss his grievances, he stated he was going to crash into some aircraft on the apron. After a total flying time of about 2 hours, he did two loops and then crashed at 200 knots (370 km/h; 230 mph) into Air Botswana's two other ATR 42s parked on the apron. The captain was killed but there were no other casualties.

Airline sources say the pilot had been grounded on medical reasons, refused reinstatement and regrounded until February 2000. Air Botswana operations were crippled, as the airline temporarily only had one aircraft left – a BAe 146 that was grounded with technical problems.[7]


Year Passengers Movements Ref
2012 406,976 16,150 [2]
2013 401,100 16,346 [2]
2014 384,376 16,548 [2]
2015 382,280 17,563 [2]
2016 402,865 17,439 [2]
2017 424,640 15,980 [2]
2018 444,473 16,135 [2]
2019 470,972 16,299 [2]
2020 117,227 5,918 [2]
2021 146,162 7,852 [2]
Air Botswana ATR 72-500 at Khama Airport in 2011.

Botswana Defence Force Air Wing[edit]

Botswana Defence Force Air Wing VIP Flight Wing is based at the airport.


  1. ^ Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana–Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Transport & Infrastructure Statistics Report 2021" (PDF; 2.079 KB). statsbots.org.bw. Statistics Botswana. p. 46. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Ministry of Works & Transport. Department of Civil Aviation". Department of Civil Aviation. 2005. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Appointment for Sir Seretse Khama International Airport". Royal HaskoningDHV. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Botswana plans Special Economic Zone to house diamond trading hub". Namibia Economist. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. ^ "British Airways Announces Pull-out From Botswana". Panafrican News Agency. 14 January 1999. Archived from the original on 8 May 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  7. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident ATR-42-320 A2-ABB Gaborone–Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE)". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. 18 November 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

External links[edit]