Kigali International Airport (KGL ) has moved up to second position on a list of the best airports in Africa – according to a survey by ‘Sleeping In Airports’ an aviation website.
The survey is particularly based on passengers’ views which recognised Cape Town International Airport, South Africa (CPT) as the best on the continent.
The Survey considers experiences like comfort (rest zones, gate seating), services, facilities, things to do, food options, immigration/security, customer service and cleanliness.
In 2015, KGL was ranked Fifth but since then it has improved readiness to offer an efficient, customer friendly and clean experience.
“The East African airport (Kanombe) scored high for clean environment and customer support,” Part of the report reads.
According to the survey, passengers are pleased with how clean and modern the terminals are, and by how helpful staff can be. The airport is decent easy to navigate, and services like e-clearing can limit the time you spend in queues.
Passengers interviewed however, said even when Kigali International Airport is small; “It is still being remodeled, small but efficient. It will be excellent once fully remodeled,” one traveler said in the 2015 report.
“Small but extraordinarily clean, quick services and no waste of time on paper work,” survey respondent said in 2016 report.
Since 2014, renovations worth $19 million for expansion have left KGL airport far brighter, roomier and more efficient. The airport has capacity to accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers annually – more than double current traffic levels, queues are limited and chairs are plentiful.
Other perks at Kanombe airport include excellent locally sourced coffee, free Wi-Fi and cheery staff. Additionally, the terminal is located conveniently close to the city centre.
Tony Barigye the Public Relations Officer at Rwanda Civil Aviation (RCAA), told KT Press that these changes are a result of consistency in a traveler- centered vision of ensuring a world class safe, secure and provision of quality services at Rwanda’s airports.
“Rwanda has invested over $50m to ensure the transformational change in the traveler’s comfort and world class facilities is realized,” Barigye.
The survey commended Rwanda’s efforts of constructing a $818million new international airport (Bugesera International Airport) about 40 minutes from Kigali city.
“A new national Rwandan airport is scheduled to start in June 2017. Hopefully, this new airport will include a few more entertainment options!” the survey said.
Government has sold its stake in local I&M Bank worth Rwf11.5billion to be injected in Bugesera International Airport project; according to Finance Minister, Ambassador Claver Gatete.
Meanwhile, ‘Sleeping in Airports’ also ranked the worst airports in Africa. South Sudan’s Juba International Airport tops the list, followed by Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria.
Dar-es-Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport and Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport respectively from Tanzania also feature on the list of top ten worst airports in Africa.
Travelers blamed them on “repeated poor-timing, sickly security procedures and incompetent staff, operating in mini domes.”
Rwanda hits Aviation jackpot
Measures taken by Rwandan government to improve aviation services and facilities have won the country more opportunities to host continental and global aviation events.
Within this year alone, Kigali city will host aviation events with over 2000 participants expected to attend.
This February the Aviation Africa Event 2017 will take place at the Kigali Convention Center on February 22 – 23.
The event will convene 500 participants from the global aviation industry. There will also be 70 key speakers and 50 exhibitors from renowned aviation manufacturing companies and service providing international brands.
Best Airports in Africa 2016 ( Sleeping In Airports)
- Cape Town International Airport, South Africa (CPT)
- Kigali International Airport, Rwanda (KGL)
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Port Louis) International Airport, Mauritius (MRU)
- Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa (JNB)
- Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport, Algeria (ALG)
- Durban King Shaka International Airport, South Africa (DUR)
- Rabat-Sale International Airport, Morocco (RBA)
- Oujda Angads International Airport, Morocco (OUD)
- Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya (NBO)
- Cairo International Airport, Egypt (CAI)
Worst Airports in Africa 2016
- Juba International Airport, South Sudan (JUB)
- Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria (PHC)
- Nouakchott International Airport, Mauritania (NKC)
- Douala International Airport, Cameroon (DLA)
- N’Djamena International Airport, Chad (NDJ)
- Dar-es-Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania (DAR)
- Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, Tanzania (ZNZ)
- Lomé–Tokoin Airport, Togo (LFW)
- Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Nigeria (LOS)
- Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco (RAK)