Searching for the top local airports in Nigeria? This post covers Nigeria’s local airports, international airports that have domestic flights, and the top airports amongst the local airports.
Let’s get right to it.
Local Airports in Nigeria – An Introduction
Nigeria has several airports, and we can say that all of them are local airports.
This is because although some of them might be international airports they also have structures for domestic flights.
For this article’s purpose, we will only focus on airports that support flights that fly within the country which are the local airports.
We shall also discuss all the local airports in Nigeria, and go further to highlight some of them that can be classified as the top local airports.
Read Up: Top 15 Airports in Nigeria
Nigerian aviation is an interesting sector as we see it always booming.
This is not surprising, as many people would prefer traveling by air due to its convenience and speed.
For people who are looking for direct flights from Lagos to Europe, you will not find the answer in this article as only write-ups on international airports in Nigeria will answer that question.
Note that Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Kano International Airport, Maiduguri International Airport, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, and Port Harcourt International Airport, are some of the International airports in Nigeria.
Without much ado, let’s get on with it.
List of Local Airports in Nigeria
In no particular order, here are the airports in Nigeria that have local operations:
Akure Airport is the local airport in Ondo state.
Many people do not know that this airport is functional, and that is because it does not fly to many states within the country.
Currently, there are only two airlines that operate from this airport and they fly to either Lagos or Abuja.
These two airlines are AirPeace and Overland Airways.
Thus, if you are in Ondo and have an engagement to meet in other states, you will have to move from this airport to either Lagos or Abuja.
Then get a connecting flight from there.
Sir Tafawa Balewa Airport
This is an airport in Bauchi state, so some people call it the Bauchi State Airport.
If you are wondering, it is named after Alhaji Tafawa Balewa Abubakar, the first prime minister of Nigeria, who was killed in one of the military coups in Nigeria.
If you are within Bauchi state and looking to travel to Abuja, there are many airlines at this airport that fly via that route.
Bauchi state is one of the cotton-producing states in the country, so you might find yourself there one day.
Arik Air and Overland Airways are amongst the airlines in operation at the airport.
One can say that Benin Airport is one of the oldest airports in Nigeria as it was constructed in 1956, and upgraded between 1975 – 1978.
Although it has been around for years, it does not have a wide range of states in terms of its coverage destinations.
There are three airlines that operate at this airport, but they only fly to and from either Lagos or Abuja.
These airlines, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, and AirPeace, are the available airlines you can get when using the Benin Airport.
If you are within Edo state or planning to visit Edo state, this is the Local airport that will serve you.
There were high expectations during the opening and establishment of the Asaba airport as it was to be an international airport.
However, the international features and aspects have not been finalized, but there are high hopes.
It is one of the newest airports in Nigeria, serving Delta state as it is in Asaba, the state capital.
It carries out local operations to some cities in Nigeria like Lagos and Abuja.
There is no scarcity of airlines as Aero Contractors, Airpeace, and Overland Airways are all functional at this local airport in Nigeria.
Margaret Ekpo International Airport
This is one of those Nigerian airports that was established with hopes of having international operations, but that has not happened.
The Nigerian airport is located in Calabar, operates locally, and goes to several locations.
You can get a flight from here to Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt.
At a point, Arik Air and Aero Contractors were operational at this airport.
However, they later stopped. Air Peace has been the only functional airline until Ibom Air joined in 2020.
The airport is situated in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, and was named after Chief Margaret Ekpo, a human rights activist.
Gombe International Airport
There are many names for this airport as some people call it the Gombe Lawanti International Airport.
Others refer to it as the Sani Abacha International Airport.
It is not out to place to see an airport named after past public figures.
The international operation of this airport usually runs to places like Saudi Arabia.
For it to be on this list, you know that it doubles as both an international and local airport as it runs operations within Nigeria – to Abuja.
Arik Air and Azman Air airlines operate at this airport.
Kebbi International Airport
You can either call it the Kebbi International Airport, or Sir Ahamdu Bello International Airport.
Their international operation is usually helpful in taking Muslim faithful for pilgrimage to Jeddah.
However, this airport is mostly known for its local operation as it runs to Lagos and Abuja.
The airport is within the capital of Kebbi state, so be sure to use it when next you are within that region.
The two airlines which fly from this airport and back are AirPeace and Azman Air.
It is surprising that many people do not know about the Kebbi International Airport.
Dutse International Airport
This is the airport that serves Jigawa state which has Dutse as the state capital.
It is also one of the newest airports in Nigeria as it was commissioned in 2014 by the then head of state, Goodluck Jonathan.
The plan was to equip the northern states of Nigeria with adequate airports, and it was meant to be an international airport.
However, it has been running local operations since its inception.
If you are close to this airport, be sure that you will get a flight from there to Abuja with Overland Airways.
Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state is one that has gained adequate grounds in the country.
We can say that it is the second-largest southwestern city after Lagos in terms of economy and other things.
It is not out of place to expect that this city would have a functional airport, and thankfully, it does.
The Ibadan airport operates strictly local operations, and it flies to Abuja and Lagos.
Arik Air and Overland Airways are the airlines that operate at this airport.
Plans to have an airport within Jalingo, the capital city of Taraba state, has been in place for a while.
However, final and upgraded construction was completed in 2014.
The airport is helpful in providing a means of transportation by air to those visiting Abuja and those coming in from Abuja to Taraba state.
There are hopes of its operations expanding to other states within the country, and fingers are crossed for now.
The Overland Airways airline is functional at this airport.
Yakubu Gowon Airport
This is the airport in Plateau state, specifically in Jos, the state capital.
It is called the Yakubu Gown Airport and was named after one of the previous Nigerian heads of state who was in power from 1966 to 1975.
It is not out of place that people want to visit Jos.
This is because there are many tourist attractions to explore, especially the mountains which are amongst the top mountains in Nigeria.
If you are coming from Lagos, you will have direct access to the city of Jos as Arik Air is functional at the airport.
If you are in any other state and wish to use air to Jos, you should find your way to Lagos state first.
The Katsina Airport is helpful for those who wish to travel from Katsina state or other states within its environs that do not have an airport.
Almost everyone can agree that traveling by air is easier and faster, so this airport always comes in-handy.
If you have also been wondering if Katsina state has an airport or if you can fly down to the state, this is your answer.
Max Air airline is the only airline working at this airport, and its destination is usually either Abuja or Lagos.
Thus, plan your schedule around it.
The rich culture of Benue state people is one that many people within Nigeria wish to experience.
Thus, it should not be a surprise to see people who plan to visit or spend their holidays in Benue state.
A traveler would always be on the lookout for the quickest means of transportation and traveling by air ticks the box.
If you are traveling to Benue state, you are in luck as there is an airport in Makurdi, the Benue state’s capital city.
However, it has not been constant as it has been undergoing reconstructing.
Niger state is also not left out of the states with a local airport in Nigeria.
The location of its airport is similar to the majority of the states in Nigeria as it is within Minna, its capital city.
This aids in navigation as it is easier for a tourist or newcomer to trace a place if it is within the state capital.
The flight operation at this airport flies to Abuja, so you are in luck if that is your destination.
In case you are wondering, Overland Airways is the airline operational at the Minna Airport.
Sam Mbakwe International Airport
This is another airport amongst the local airports in Nigeria.
Although it is called an international airport, we are yet to see a flight from here to places outside Nigeria.
It is the airport in Imo state and serves many of the cities around which are some of the major business hubs in the country.
The airport was commissioned in 1994 and is named after one of the past governors of Imo state.
Air Peace, Arik Air, and Dana Air are the airlines operating at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, and they have flights to Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.
If you have any of those places as your destination, do not hesitate to head to this airport.
It has been known as either the Uyo or Akwa Ibom airport.
It was changed in 2018 when the governor named the airport after the past governor, Victor Attah.
Although the name has not stuck now, some people refer to it as the Victor Attah Airport.
Many airlines operate at this airport, including Ibom Air, a state-owned airline. You will also see Dana Air, Aero Contractors, Arik Air, and AirPeace.
All these airlines are either flying to Lagos or Abuja.
The Uyo airport officially opened for operations in 2009.
Since then, it has undergone different constructions to ensure it is conducive for flying.
This airport started out as a small airstrip operated by Shell Company, having Aero Contractors and some other airlines.
Now, it has been upgraded to an airport, and we see more airlines, showing the growth it has undergone.
It is common for you to hear people refer to this airport as the Osubi Airstrip as that is how it was known earlier.
Arik Air joins the number of airlines at this airport, and they go to Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt.
It has been in operations for a while, so people can say that they have either heard of or used this airport.
The Yola Airport is in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa state.
Interestingly, it has provisions for night landing, although we rarely see that happening with local flights.
Aero Contractors, Max Air, Arik Air, AirPeace, Med-View Airline, and Dornier Aviation Nigeria are functional airlines at this airport.
Dornier Aviation is for charter and takes you to places like Maiduguri.
Other lines have routes that include Lagos, Kano, and Abuja.
List of Top Local Airports in Nigeria
This is a list of top local airports in Nigeria that only run locally as they are fit to be on this list. They are:
- Benin Airport
- Calabar Airport
- Ibadan Airport
- Uyo Airport
- Sam Mbakwe Airport
- Akure Airport
- Bauchi Airport
- Jalingo Airport
- Makurdi Airport
- Katsina Airport
- Warri Airport
- Minna Airport
Conclusion on Top Local Airports in Nigeria
It would be right for you to also know that the top-three busiest airports in Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt Airports can also be described as local airports as they carry out local operations.
Now, you know the different local airports in Nigeria.
You can plan your schedule to use any of them if you are within its environs.
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