- Seychelles International Airport
Seychelles International Airport (Aéroport International de Seychelles - Pointe Larue) IATA: SEZ – ICAO: FSIA Summary Airport type Public / Military Operator SCAA(Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority) Location Victoria, Seychelles Hub for Air Seychelles Elevation AMSL 10 ft / 3 m Coordinates Website Runways Direction Length Surface ft m 13/31 9,800 2,987 Concrete Source: DAFIF
Seychelles International Airport (IATA: SEZ, ICAO: FSIA) or Aéroport de La Pointe la Rue as it is known locally is located on the island of Mahé, Seychelles near the capital city of Victoria. It forms part of the Administrative districts of La pointe Larue (terminal area), Cascade/Providence (in the North) and Anse aux pins (in the south and military base).
The airport is 11 km south-east of the capital and is accessible by the Victoria - Providence Highway. There are frequent bus services from the bus station in Victoria, with taxi ranks outside the terminal available to all locations on Mahé Island and several tour operators coach services namely Creole Travel Services and Mason's travel which also links passengers to the ferry terminal at the Old Port (Vieux port) for inter-island ferry services and to the New Port (Nouveau port) for cruise holidays.
A domestic terminal is located a short walking distance north of the International terminal and offers domestic inter-island flights with a peak of a departure every 10–15 minutes at busy times which corresponds with international arrivals/departures and every 30 minutes at other times. There is plan to link the airport with a light railway/tram system which will run along the east coast of Mahé island due to the high transportation density of this area. Companies were invited to tender in 2007 by the government.
A cargo terminal is situated south of the International terminal and handles freights from all international and domestic movements and is run by the national airline Air Seychelles. A military base of the Seychelles Public Defence Force (SPDF) exists at the southeastern end of runway 13 in the south on an island joined with Mahé at the construction of the airport.
The opening of the Seychelles International Airport took place on the 20 March 1972 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and was an epic event for the small Seychelles Islands. Wilkenair of Kenya had, however, already started a ferry service between Mombasa and Mahé via Diego Suarez in Madagascar and Astove Island (Seychelles) using a twin engine Piper Navajo the previous year. It operated to the Seychelles once a week. It was followed by East African Airways in November 1971 and Luxair in December of the same year. A BOAC Super VC10 was the first jet aircraft to land at Seychelles International Airport on the 4 July 1971. At the time of the opening of the airport in 1972, the following infrastructure existed: The 2987m long runway, and a Control Tower. Ground handling and all other airport operations were carried out by the DCA (Directorate of Civil Aviation).
In 1972 John Faulkner Taylor founded the first local aircraft company called Air Mahé, which operated a Piper PA-34 Seneca between Praslin, Fregate and Mahé Islands. This was later replaced by a Britten Norman BN-2AIII. By 1974, some 30 plus different airlines were flying to the Seychelles. Ground handling and all airport operations were being carried out by Aviation Seychelles Company, a company formed in 1973.
Construction works for the substantial expansion of the Seychelles International Airport started in July 1980. Due to the continuous increase in passenger traffic, the actual Terminal Building finally built could cater for 400 more arriving and 400 more departing passengers at any one time. Parking bays for up to six aircraft were catered for as well as a light aircraft parking area capable of handling 5 aircraft. The years 2005/2006 brought further development to civil aviation in the Seychelles. The Civil Aviation Authority Act was enacted on 4 April 2006 for the corporatisation of the Directorate of Civil Aviation to Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority. Works started to upgrade and extend the Terminal Building, which has been further extended to handle at least 5 medium to large size aircraft (e.g. Boeing 767) and 6 small size aircraft (e.g. Boeing 737. Further parking areas were made available to the north-east of the airport to handle the parking of charter, business and long stay aircraft (e.g. some European flights arrive in the morning from 7am but do not depart till the evening from 10pm onwards. This is because it reduces jet-lag as any flight that leaves Seychelles at night will get to most Western European cities in the early morning and vice-versa from the European cities to the Seychelles, and it also provides sufficient rest for operating crew).
The new facility can handle up to 11 aircraft depending on their size. As the Seychelles is a small country with a population of about 90,000 and that mass tourism is not welcomed by either the government or the people, the size of the airport is reasonably adequate for the country's needs. However, Air Seychelles plans to grow its fleet and destinations size in the near future which might prompt further expansion.
Airlines and destinations
Airlines Destinations Terminal Air Austral Saint-Denis de la Réunion International Air Seychelles Praslin
Charter: Bird Island, Denis Island
Domestic Air Seychelles Johannesburg, London-Heathrow, Mauritius, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Singapore [ends 22 November] International Condor Flugdienst Frankfurt International Emirates Dubai International Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi International Kenya Airways Nairobi International Transaero Moscow-Domodedovo [begins 2 January] International Qatar Airways Doha International
- ^  from DAFIF
- ^ Values used from publication: Seychelles in Figures 2007
- ^ Values used from publication: Seychelles in Figures 2008
- ^ Values used from publication: Seychelles in Figures 2009
- ^ Values used from publication: Seychelles in Figures 2010
- ^ Air Seychelles drops Singapore, looks at other Far East routes
- ^ "Offices & GSAs head Office." Air Seychelles. Retrieved on 29 January 2011 "Head Office Air Seychelles Ltd Head Office International Airport P.O.Box 386 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles."
- Airport information for FSIA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
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