N’Djamena International Airport (IATA: NDJ, ICAO: FTTJ) (Arabic: مطار انجمينا الدولي; French: Aéroport international de N’Djaména) serves N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad. It is the country’s only international airport. The airport is dual use, with civilian and military installations on opposite sides of the single runway.
French military base
There has been a French military base here since independence, the only lapses being in 1975 and again for a couple of years beginning in 1978. After Operation Epervier started, it has been extensively used by French Air Force and Army during various operations. In 2016, Epervier is composed of about 1500 men, a dozen Mirage 2000 fighters, Puma and Caiman helicopters, and transport and tankers aircraft (C-160 Transall, Boeing KC-135, C-130 Hercules) Operations are undertaken over neighbouring Mali and Niger for Operation Barkhane, combating militant groups throughout the southern Sahara. The entire area is under the authority of COMELEF, typically a French Air Force colonel. The importance of the operation does mean that the runway is always open, and that excellent primary radar coverage is provided, as well as other facilities (military hospital, rescue and fire services, assistance with ATC)
On September 7, 1987 a Tupolev Tu-22 of the Libyan Arab Air Force was shot down as it was bombing the French base. French Army Hawk missiles downed this aircraft, three crew members being killed – and the bombs missed their targets, falling in sandy areas.