International airports in Nigeria are those airports in Nigeria offering custom and immigration services for passengers traveling into or going outside the country, unlike their local counterparts that only ply their business within the country.
For a population of about 180 million people, it is quite disturbing that there are only five international airports in Nigeria, with that of Lagos and Abuja as the busiest of the international airports in the country.
In this post, we have detailed a list of all the international airports in Nigeria, according to their importance.
List of International Airports in Nigeria (2021)
Below is a list of the international airports in Nigeria, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN):
1. Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Murtala Muhammed International Airport located in Ikeja, Lagos state is the best, busiest, largest airport in Nigeria. It was formally known as Lagos international airport before it was renamed to its current name. It was established during the Second World War.
This international airport has both international and domestic terminal which are a kilometer apart from each other. However, both share the same runway. The domestic terminal is the old Ikeja Airport. The airport houses the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Accident and Investigation Bureau (AIB), Arik Air and Aero Contractors.
It is also the home to the Lagos office of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). In total, the airport had been associated with about 8 accidents and incidence.
2. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport
Located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) was built in the early 2000 and opened in 2002. It holds a pride of place, among airports in the country, as the international airport for the country’s federal capital, Abuja.
The airport named after the late Dr. Nnandi Azikiwe, a foremost nationalist and one of the country’s founding fathers, often plays host to visiting dignitaries and high ranking government officials as well as Nigerians visiting the federal capital for business or leisure.
The airport has two terminals—one, for international flights and the other for domestic flights.
Plans by FAAN to build a second runway at this airport, in order to reduce the heavy air traffic on the airport’s single runway are at an advanced stage. A cargo section is also included in the design of the new state-of-the-art international terminal currently under construction at the airport.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) is the second busiest international airport in Nigeria.
3. Port Harcourt International Airport
The Port Harcourt International Airport plays a very important role in the economy of the country. This is because it is located in Port Harcourt, at the center of the country’s oil and gas industry. The Oil and Gas industry contributes 85 percent of government revenue and over 90 percent of total exports from the country in terms of value.
The Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA, allows direct air connections between the country and major destinations around the world, especially to and from Western countries. The old terminal at the airport is under renovation, although it continues to operate commercial flights.
4. Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport
The Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is the oldest airport in Nigeria; it had been in operation since 1936. This airport before independence serves as a Royal Air Force Station. Currently, it serves both civilian and military flights though they use separate runways.
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Aminu Kano International airport has both an international and domestic wing; the airport is located in Kano state. The bulk of international flights cater to the large Lebanese community in Kano and Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
The airport had been associated with 3 accidents out of which one is the worst aviation disaster in the history of Nigeria (Kano Air Disaster).
5. Akanu Ibiam International Airport
This airport is one of the five international airports in the country and operated by FAAN, on behalf of the Federal Government. The Akanu Ibiam International Airport is located in Enugu, reputed as the ‘coal city’ alluding to the days of old when it was the center of a flourishing coal mining industry.
Enugu is the old administrative headquarters of the old Eastern Region of the 1950s to 1960s. And with the creation of new states in the late 1960s, Enugu remained capital of East Central State and with the creation of additional states in the 1980s, Enugu State was created with Enugu retaining the capital of the state.
Enugu remains an important center of political, cultural, commercial and administrative influence in the South-Eastern part of the country. Therefore, the airport is strategically located in Enugu to serve this part of the country.