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Nelson Mandela International Airport

Nelson Mandela International Airport (IATA: RAI, ICAO: GVNP), also known as Praia International Airport, is the airport of Santiago Island in Cape Verde. It was opened in October 2005,[3] replacing the old Francisco Mendes International Airport. It is located about 3 km northeast of the city centre of Praia in the southeastern part of the island of Santiago.

Praia International Airport
Praia International Airport.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorAeroportos Segurança Aérea (ASA)
LocationPraia, Cape Verde
Focus city forCabo Verde Airlines[1]
Elevation AMSL70 m / 230 ft
Coordinates14°55′27.12″N 23°29′38.04″W / 14.9242000°N 23.4939000°W / 14.9242000; -23.4939000Coordinates: 14°55′27.12″N 23°29′38.04″W / 14.9242000°N 23.4939000°W / 14.9242000; -23.4939000
WebsiteRAI Website
RAI is located in Cape Verde
Location in Cape Verde
Direction Length Surface
m ft
3/21 2,100 6,890 asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Metric tonnes of cargo959[2]



The first flight to the new airport was on 6 October 2005 with a flight from Sal.[3] Even though the airport serves the capital and largest city, Praia as well as the island of Santiago, Cape Verde's busiest international airport is Amílcar Cabral International Airport located on the smaller island of Sal.[2]

In January 2012 a Cape Verde government statement noted that Praia International Airport was renamed after South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, an icon for freedom in Africa, not without controversy.[4] Modernization works, including a new departures hall, were scheduled for completion in July 2018.[5]

Airlines and destinationsEdit


Year Passengers Operations Cargo (t)
2012[10] 497,049
2013[10] 505,497 8,978 1,418
2016[2] 522,584 8,641 1,109
2017[2] 662,356 11,236 959

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Boletim Estatístico de Tráfego – Ano 2017" (PDF) (in Portuguese). ASA. January 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Novo Aeroporto: Primeiro voo intercontinental chega hoje à Praia" [New Airport: First Intercontinental Flight Arrives in Praia]. A Semana (in Portuguese). 23 October 2005. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Cape Verde Names Airport After Nelson Mandela". All Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Obras de expansão e modernização do Aeroporto da Praia consomem mais 35 por cento dos 29 milhões de euros previstos" (in Portuguese). Inforpress. 18 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Air Senegal outlines proposed regional network from late-Sep 2018". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Binter Cabo Verde adds Sao Filipe service from April 2017". Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Statistics in Airports" (PDF) (in Portuguese). ASA. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit

  Media related to Praia International Airport at Wikimedia Commons