Top 15 Airports in Nigeria; No 12 will shock You

Top Airports in Nigeria
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This post highlights the top 15 airports in Nigeria, in no particular order. It covers all you need to know about these popular Nigerian airports if you’re looking to go with the bests or conducting research on Nigeria’s best airports.

 Top 15 Airports in Nigeria

Airports in Nigeria – An Introduction

Top Airports in Nigeria

There are different means of transportation – land, sea, and air-, and amongst these transportation means, air travel is the most preferred by many.


It is faster and more comfortable.

Airplanes and airports have played a significant role in revolutionizing transportation in the world today.

It is impossible to say that there is a country without an airport, and Nigeria is no exception.

A high number of people come into the country through air transportation, and the same goes for moving from one state to another.

There are numerous airports in Nigeria, as more than half of Nigerian states have at least one airport.

Some of these airports only operate domestic flights, while others operate both domestic and international flights.

This article highlights the top airports in Nigeria, regardless of whether they are domestic, international, or both.

Top 15 Airports in Nigeria

In no particular order, these are some of the top Nigerian airports

1. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos (MMIA)

Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos state, is home to this international airport.

Some people argue that MMIA is the best and busiest airport in Nigeria, while others say that it has its shortcoming.

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos is the biggest airport in Nigeria and operates over 25 airlines that travel to over 40 destinations.

Thus, you can describe this airport as the hub of air transportation in Nigeria

This airport was named after the fourth military ruler of Nigeria, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, who was killed during one of the Nigerian military coups and was built during World War II.

It was formerly known as the Lagos International airport but was renamed in the mid-1970s.

It has both international and domestic terminals and is the point where many foreigners leave or enter Nigeria.

In other words, you’re sure to get direct flights from Lagos to Europe at the airport.

2. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja (NAIA)

It would not be wrong to describe this airport as a new one as construction work for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport began in 2000, and operations started in 2002

It is the second-largest airport in Nigeria as it operates about 8 airlines that cover about 25 destinations.

This airport was named after the first president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. 

There have been fluctuations in the airport’s operations as construction and renovations always occur to ensure that the environment is suitable for traveling.

Asides from being an airport, it also plays home to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority office.

3. Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport

If you have been wondering about the oldest airport in Nigeria, it is none other than the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano State.

The airport was a Royal Air Force Station before Nigeria gained her independence. 

The first airplane to ever land in Nigeria landed in this airport in 1922, while operations fully began in 1936.

The airport in northern Nigeria operates both domestic and international operations and also serves military purposes.

It was named after Aminu Kano, who was a Nigerian politician. 

A new domestic terminal for this airport was commissioned on the 23rd of May 2011. 

4. Gombe Lawanti International Airport

The name Gombe Lawanti came about because this airport is in Gombe state.

The airport is in the village of Lawanti, so the name makes sense. However, some people refer to the airport as the Sani Abacha International Airport after one of the past presidents of Nigeria

It is one of the new airports in Nigeria that operate both domestic and international flights. 

The first international flight that took off from this airport was to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The construction process of this airport began in 2005, and soon commission and certifying took place.

The airport’s domestic flight destination is mainly to Abuja.

5. Margaret Ekpo International Airport Calabar

The destination city of Calabar in Cross River state plays home to this amazing airport.

The airport was named after one of the state’s daughters, Chief Margaret Ekpo, a politician who actively fought for women’s rights.

The airport was built with the intention of both domestic and international operations.

However, international flights at Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar are inactive. 

It has domestic operations that see flights take off to some cities in Nigeria.

AirPeace and Aero were the two active airlines at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport.

However, Aero folded up, and the airport was left with only AirPeace, which operate(d) only one flight daily. 

Recently, Ibom Airline has started operations at this airport.

6. Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu

This is an airport in Enugu state and comes in handy for people in some surrounding states.

The airport has international flights to some select countries and also operates domestic flights to cities in Nigeria

The airport was named after Dr. Akanu Ibiam, a doctor and statesman from Afikpo in Ebonyi State. He was a force to reckon with in the Igbo land. 

Renovations and expansion works have taken place at this airport overtime to ensure that it stays in a fit condition for operations.

7. Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport Sokoto

Sadiq Abubakar III was the longest-reigning sultan of Sokoto. He reigned from 1938-1988, which was a total of 50 years.

For a religious state like Sokoto, it is not surprising that they named the airport after a Muslim leader. 

The domestic operation in this airport only has flights to Abuja, from where you’ll get a flight to any other Nigerian city of choice.

It also has international flights, especially for pilgrims during the Hajj period.

It has some airlines that operate at the airport, and you are sure of seeing at least one flight daily at this airport.

Read: The Poorest States in Nigeria

8. Asaba International Airport 

Asaba, the capital city of Delta State, is home to Asaba International Airportwhich serves the states and other neighboring states.

The airport is one of the newest airports in Nigeria and was commissioned for operations in 2013.

There have been restrictions on this airport, especially its international flight operations, due to the deterioration of its new runaway.

People’s lives are paramount, and the aviation ministry would not want to compromise.

Thus, it was right to stop the operation of some of the flights in Asaba International Airport

Some of the domestic flights at this airport are, however, still functional.

9. Port Harcourt International Airport

The third largest and busiest airport in Nigeria is the Port Harcourt International Airport, situated in the suburbs of Port Harcourt city, Rivers State. 

The airport is home to many airlines that operate domestic and international flights at different times of the day.

It is almost impossible for you to be stranded at the Port Harcourt International Airport. 

There have been some shortcomings at this airport, but the aviation ministry does not slack in ensuring that they keep on putting facilities in place that would avert disasters.

The new international terminal of this airport was commissioned in 2018.

10. Yola Airport

Unlike some other airports in the northern parts of Nigeria, the Yola Airport in Adamawa state has domestic flights that fly to other cities besides Abuja.

There are flights to Lagos, Abuja, and other states

It is one of the oldest airports in Nigeria and was officially commissioned in 1984.

It’s noteworthy to mention that this airport has been in place since 1978 and is also an international airport. 

Operations at the Yola airport were not much until it became an international airport in 2002.

It has facilities in place for night landing and has a good number of airlines that carry our operations.

11. Benin Airport

Benin City, the capital of Edo State, is the Benin airport’s location, precisely at the Ogba-Oko community.

It is one of the oldest airports in Nigeria as it was constructed in 1956.

However, things were not fully functional at the airport.

Upgrade was done on this airport, and new facilities were put in place between 1975 and 1978, then handed over to the Nigerian Airports Authority. 

The operations at this airport are strictly domestic, and there are flights to cities like Lagos and Abuja.

It is one of those low-key airports in Nigeria that people do not talk about due to its minimal destinations. 

12. Warri Airport

This is another airport in Delta state, after the Asaba airport.

It is one of the oldest in Nigeria and makes it to the list of domestic airports

The airport is also known as the Osubi Airstrip and is owned by Shell Oil Company.

It was an airstrip in the 1960s before it became an airport.

In the 1970s, the government decided to turn it into a functional airport, but experienced difficulty in construction. 

Shell took up the responsibility, and it was commissioned for operations in 1999.

It operates domestic flights only and is usually busy – some consider it the busiest airport in Nigeria.

Aero Contractors and Arik Air are the airlines in Nigeria that operate at this airport.

13. Akwa Ibom International Airport

Construction for this airport began in 2006 and was completed in 2009.

In that same year of completion, flights became operational in Akwa Ibom state through the airport.

Some people refer to the airport as the Victor Attah International Airport after one of Akwa Ibom state’s past governors

Much work has been done on this airport to ensure that it is in perfect shape.

It is one of the best airports in Nigeria in terms of the state of the art facilities.

There are many functional airlines in this airport, including the state-owned Ibom Air that travels to different cities in Nigeria.

14. Ibadan Airport

The operations at the Ibadan Airport are strictly domestic as airplanes that originate from here go to cities like Lagos and Abuja.

Arik Air and Overland Airways are the Nigerian functional airlines at this airport. 

The airport was commissioned for operations by one of the former senate presidents of Nigeria in 1982.

Many people do not know that Ibadan city has an airport, but it would be out of place for such a historic city not to have an airport. 

If you ever want to visit Oyo state, do not think twice about using air transportation so that you can utilize the Ibadan airport.

15. Ilorin International Airport

The Ilorin International airport in Kwara state was established in 2007.

It was upgraded to international status, but the domestic flights operate to Abuja and Lagos.

Some of the functional airlines in Ilorin International Airport are Arik Air and Overland Airways.

Conclusion on top Airports in Nigeria

Above are 15 of the top airports in Nigeria.

There are a total of 31 airports in Nigeria, including those that operate domestic flights, international flights, and both.

If you’re curious to know the worst airport in Nigeria, we’re sorry to say we can’t pinpoint a specific airport.

However, some airports are considered the worst airports in Nigeria when compared to other airports.

All the airports have their high and low points, and your experience with them will shape your perception.

Have you had experience in any of these top 15 airports in Nigeria?

We’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section. 

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