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Kigali International Airport

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Kigali International Airport (IATAKGLICAOHRYR), formerly known as Kanombe International Airport, is the primary airport serving Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Currently, there is an ongoing project to build another mega-airport in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, which will be the biggest and the main air gateway for all destinations in the country, in addition to serving as a transit airport for Goma and Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are 4 airlines based in Kigali: RwandAir, the flag carrier airline of Rwanda; Akagera Aviation, a Rwandan heli-company; Tempus Jet, an American airline providing charter flights; and Nexus Aero, a Saudi VIP airline.


The airport is located in the suburb of Kanombe Sector, at the eastern edge of Kigali, approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), by road, east of the central business district of the city of Kigali.


During the Rwandan Civil War, Kigali airport was a major strategic point. Since Rwanda is a landlocked nation, this represented the only easy way in and out of the country. The airport had two runways, but after the Arusha Accords, one runway was closed down after a request from the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Later, in April 1994, President Habyarimana’s plane was shot down. It is disputed whether the RPF or the Rwandan Defence Forces (FAR) shot down the plane. This event triggered a renewal of the civil war and the beginning of the Rwandan genocide.

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