Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and Location

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History of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport

This was established in 1936. It is notable as the oldest airport in Nigeria

MAKIA is located in the ancient city of Kano in the Northern part of the country. In the 1980s, the airport was named after a prominent Kano-born Nigerian statesman, Mallam Aminu Kano, a nationalist, politician and dogged fighter for the poor masses in the country.

Related Post: Kaduna International Airport and Location

MAKIA is one of the country’s oldest international airports. Apart from being a major transit point for the annual Muslim Haji to Mecca, MAKIA is a major connection point for air travellers going from Northern Nigeria to different parts of the world.


The airport serves civilian and military flights. Runway 06/24 is mainly used for civilian flights, while runway 05/23 primarily serves the Nigerian Air Force base at the south side of the airport. Runway 05/23 was in use for all operations when the main runway was rehabilitated in the beginning of the 21st century. The terminal facilities lie between the two runways.

The Kano VOR-DME (ident: KAN) and non-directional beacons (idents: KO and AO) are located on the field.

The main terminal with the control tower serves international flights and domestic services operated by Arik Air. Facilities in the departure lounge are minimal, with a newsstand near the check-in counter and a small bar at airside. There is a small VIP lounge for business class passengers. Duty-free shops are currently closed. There is a small bar and a post office in the arrivals hall.

On the south side of the airport, along runway 06/24, is the domestic terminal currently serving operations of IRS Airlines. Facilities include a newsstand and small bar.

Construction of a new domestic terminal, adjacent to the main terminal building, started in the beginning of the 21st century. Construction was abandoned but was resumed. The operator of the airport, Federal Airports Authority Nigeria (FAAN), saw the completion of the new terminal in November 2009. It was commissioned on May 2011.


This is a very safe location.

What To Bring

Before heading to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, here are some helpful things to take along with you:

  • Your passport and flight ticket

  • Your luggage


Things to do while at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport

These are the following things you can do while you’re here:

  • Have a meal at the food eateries

  • Browse the duty-free shops

Best Features

One of the five airports in the country where ultramodern international terminals were built under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian and Chinese Governments, the airport features two Passenger Terminals; international and domestic terminals, and a Cargo Terminal which both share the same runway which has been provided new airfield lighting.

Airlines and Destinations


Airlines Destinations
Aero Contractors Lagos
Air Peace Abuja, Lagos
Azman Air Abuja, Lagos, Gombe, Kebbi, Port Harcourt
Badr Airlines Khartoum
Dornier Aviation Nigeria Hajj: Jeddah
EgyptAir Cairo
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Flynas Jeddah
Kabo Air Hajj: Jeddah
Max Air Abuja, Lagos
Hajj: Jeddah
Med-View Airline Lagos, Jeddah
Saudia Medina, Jeddah
Sudan Airways Khartoum
Tarco Airlines Khartoum
Tchadia Airlines N’Djamena


Airlines Destinations
Saudia Cargo Jeddah
Turkish Airlines Cargo Dakar–Senghor, Istanbul-Atatürk


These data show number of passengers movements into the airport, according to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s Aviation Sector Summary Reports.

Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Passengers 302,017 349,057 381,862 363,290 341,367 381,841 448,792 369,132 327,267 433,263 389,530
Growth (%) Increase 3.13% Increase15.58% Increase 9.40% Decrease 4.86% Decrease 6.03% Increase11.86% Increase17.53% Decrease17.75% Decrease11.34% Increase32.39% Decrease10.09%
Source: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Aviation Sector Reports (2010-2013, 2014, Q3-Q4 of 2015, and Q1-Q2 of 2016


  • On 24 June 1956, a BOAC four-engine Canadair C-4 Argonaut airliner crashed on departure from Kano International. Of the 45 passengers and crew on board, only 13 survived.
  • On 22 January 1973, the Kano Air Disaster occurred – an Alia Boeing 707-320C crashed at Kano International while attempting to make a landing in high winds. 176 of the 202 passengers and crew on board were killed. It was and remains the worst aviation disaster in the history of Nigeria.
  • On 4 May 2002, EAS Airlines Flight 4226, a BAC 1-11-500 twin-engine jet crashed upon take-off from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, killing 71 passengers and crew on board as well as 78 more on the ground into whose houses the plane had crashed.

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