Wilson Airport

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Wilson Airport
Aerial view of Wilson Airport Nairobi.jpg
Aerial view of Wilson Airport
Airport typePublic, Civilian
OwnerKenya Airports Authority
LocationNairobi, Kenya
Hub for
Elevation AMSL1,690 m / 5,546 ft
Coordinates01°19′12″S 36°48′54″E / 1.32000°S 36.81500°E / -1.32000; 36.81500 (Wilson Airport)
WIL is located in Kenya
Location of Wilson Airport in Kenya
Placement on map is approximate
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 1,463 4,798 Asphalt
14/32 1,560 5,052 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passenger numbers528,000[1]

Wilson Airport (IATA: WIL, ICAO: HKNW) is an airport in Nairobi, Kenya. It has flights to many regional airports in Kenya while Nairobi's main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, serves domestic and many international destinations.


Wilson Airport, is in Nairobi County, in the city of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and the largest metropolitan centre in that country. It lies approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), by road, south of the central business district.[2] Nearby suburbs include Langata, South C, and Kibera.

This location is approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi), by road, west of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest civilian airport in the country.[3] The coordinates of Wilson airport are:1° 19' 12.00"S, 36° 48' 54.00"E (Latitude:-1.320000; Longitude:36.815000).


The airport serves domestic and international traffic. It is used mostly by general aviation traffic. Industries that use Wilson Airport extensively include tourism, health care and agriculture. Wilson Airport averages traffic of around 120,000 landings and take-offs annually.

Airkenya and other small airlines use Wilson Airport for scheduled domestic passenger services, instead of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Missionary aviation operators AMREF, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and AIM AIR use Wilson Airport as their airport base on the African continent. It is used also for flight training. The airport is under the supervision of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

De Havilland Chipmunk trainers of the Kenya Air Force at Wilson Aerodrome in April 1973

As a result of faster check-in times and fewer flight delays, as compared to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport is commonly used by business executive aircraft for domestic and international travel. Common domestic destinations from Wilson Airport include Kisumu Airport, Mombasa International Airport and Eldoret International Airport.

At 5,546 feet (1,690 m) above sea level,[4] Wilson Airport has two asphalt runways: Runway 1 (heading 07/25) measures 4,798 feet (1,462 m) long and 72 feet (22 m) wide; Runway 2 (heading 14/32) measures 5,052 feet (1,540 m) long and 76 feet (23 m) wide.[5]


The airport was established as Nairobi West Aerodrome in 1929, by Florence Kerr Wilson, a wealthy widow. Built at a cost of £50,000 (£3.2 million in 2020), Mrs Wilson hired Tom Campbell Black, a pilot to run the airport. After the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939, the airport, its aircraft fleet and its pilots were taken over by the then colonial government and made a Royal Air Force base until after the war where it continued functioning as a civilian airport. In 1962, it was named Wilson Airport in honor of its founder who died in 1968.[6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airkenya Express Amboseli, Kilimanjaro, Lewa Downs, Lamu, Malindi, Maasai Mara, Meru, Nanyuki, Samburu, Ukunda/Diani Beach
Fly Tristar Eldoret, Lodwar, Malindi, Mombasa, Ukunda/Diani Beach
Safarilink Amboseli, Kilaguni, Kilimanjaro, Kiwayu, Lamu, Lewa Downs, Maasai Mara, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Samburu, Ukunda/Diani Beach, Zanzibar

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.pd.co.ke/business/trade-and-industry/kaa-to-rehabilitate-wilson-airport-15111/
  2. ^ "Distance between , and Hilton Nairobi (Nairobi Area) (Kenya)". distancecalculator.globefeed.com. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Distance between Nairobi / Wilson () (Airport) and Jomo Kenyatta Airport Nairobi (Nairobi Area) (Kenya)". distancecalculator.globefeed.com. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Nairobi Wilson Airport, Nairobi Kenya Flights, WIL, Wilson Airport". www.airgorilla.com. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  5. ^ Charter, International Air. "Nairobi Wilson Airport, Kenya". www.internationalaircharter.com. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/lifestyle/society/How-woman-one-plane-venture-grew-into-modern-Wilson-Airport/3405664-3408044-9kpct4/index.html
  7. ^ "5Y-ADI Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Accident: Silverstone F50 at Nairobi on Oct 11th 2019, overran runway on rejected takeoff". AVHerald. Retrieved 12 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 1°19′12″S 36°48′54″E / 1.320000°S 36.815000°E / -1.320000; 36.815000