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Wilson Airport

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Wilson Airport (IATAWILICAOHKNW) is an airport in NairobiKenya. It has flights to many regional airports in Kenya while Nairobi’s main airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, serves domestic and many international destinations.

Wilson Airport is located to the South of Nairobi and immediately to the South of Langata Road, some 2km southwest of the junction with Mombasa Road. The most notable feature on this side of the airport is the Uhuru Monument, marking the spot where Kenya was granted independence. Founded in 1927 in Dagoretti and relocated to the current location in 1928.It was initially called Nairobi Aerodrome but it was re-named Wilson airport after the lady pioneer (founding person) Ms Florence Wilson.

It is situated latitude 0118’s and longitude 36 48’49”E-5Km from Nairobi city centre and borders Nairobi National Park to the immediate south. It is ICAO Class 2 Category 5 code HKNW. Average temperature 23°c. Operational hours -0330 to 1730UTC.

Wilson Airport is one of the busiest airports in terms of aircraft movement in East and Central Africa. Domestic flights constitute 90% of the total flights from the Airport with international flights accounting for 10%.
The Airport is a fast and convenient gateway from Nairobi into Kenya’s magical interior lands. Destinations served from the Airport include Maasai Mara, Mombasa, Amboseli, Lamu, Kilimanjaro Diani, Lokichogio and Nanyuki. It is also a modern hub of General Aviation in East and Central Africa.

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Wilson Airport, is in Nairobi County, in the city of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and the largest metropolitan centre in that country. It lies approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), by road, south of the central business district. Nearby suburbs include LangataSouth C, and Kibera.

This location is approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi), by road, west of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest civilian airport in the country. The coordinates of Wilson airport are:1° 19′ 12.00″S, 36° 48′ 54.00″E (Latitude:-1.320000; Longitude:36.815000).

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The airport serves domestic and international traffic. It is used mostly by general aviation traffic. Industries that use Wilson Airport extensively include tourism, health care and agriculture. Wilson Airport averages traffic of around 120,000 landings and take-offs annually.

Airkenya and other small airlines use Wilson Airport for scheduled domestic passenger services, instead of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Missionary aviation operators AMREFMission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and AIM AIR use Wilson Airport as their airport base on the African continent. It is used also for flight training. The airport is under the supervision of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

As a result of faster check-in times and fewer flight delays, as compared to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport is commonly used by business executive aircraft for domestic and international travel. Common domestic destinations from Wilson Airport include Kisumu AirportMombasa International Airport and Eldoret International Airport.

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At 5,546 feet (1,690 m) above sea level, Wilson Airport has two asphalt runways: Runway 1 (heading 07/25) measures 4,798 feet (1,462 m) long and 72 feet (22 m) wide; Runway 2 (heading 14/32) measures 5,052 feet (1,540 m) long and 76 feet (23 m) wide.


The airport was established as Nairobi West Aerodrome in 1929 by Florence Kerr Wilson, a wealthy widow. Built at a cost of £50,000 (£3.2 million in 2020), Mrs Wilson hired pilot Tom Campbell Black to run the airport. After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the airport, its aircraft fleet and its pilots were taken over by the then colonial government and made a Royal Air Force base until after the war when it continued functioning as a civilian airport. In 1962, it was named Wilson Airport in honour of its founder who died in 1968.

Airlines and destinations

Airkenya ExpressAmboseliKilimanjaroLamuLewa DownsMaasai MaraMalindiMeruNanyukiSamburuUkunda/Diani Beach
Fly TristarEldoretLodwarMalindiMombasaUkunda/Diani Beach
Renegade AirKisumu
SafarilinkAmboseliKilaguniKilimanjaroKiwayuLamuLewa DownsMaasai MaraNaivashaNanyukiSamburuUkunda/Diani BeachZanzibar
Skyward ExpressKakamegaEldoretLodwarMalindiMombasaUkunda/Diani BeachKitaleLamu

Accidents and incidents

  • On 24 December 1968, a Douglas C-47A 5Y-ADI of the Kenya Police Air Wing crashed shortly after takeoff. The incident was attributed to inadequately secured cargo. All three people on board were killed.
  • On 11 October 2019, a Silverstone Air Services Fokker 50 registration 5Y-IZO operating flight 620 to MombasaKenya, overran the runway on takeoff from Wilson. The aircraft was extensively damaged but there were no fatalities

Airport Contacts (Phone Numbers)

0724256837, 0724255343

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