Moi International Airport - History

History

The airport was built during the Second World War by the Engineer Corps of the South African Army. During that war it was used by the Fleet Air Arm as a land base of the British Eastern Fleet which was based at nearby Kilindini Harbour from 1942, by the RAF which operated anti-submarine Catalina flying boats off the East Africa coast and by the South African Air Force which was engaged in the war against Italy in Abyssinia. The airport was originally known as Port Reitz Airport.

Mombasa Airport was expanded to an international airport in 1979. Aircraft Maintenance facilities for private and light to medium sized commercial aircraft are provided from government and private hangars by Benair Aircraft Engineering, licenced by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as an approved maintenance organisation (AMO).

From July to September 1994, Moi International Airport was used almost continuously as a refueling station during the Operation Support Hope humanitarian mission into Rwanda. Empty C-141 and C-5 freighter jets returning to Europe flew to Mombasa due to the scarcity of fuel in the African interior. The airlift through Mombasa ceased by October due to runway expansion work.

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