Port Harcourt International Airport is located in the city capital of Rivers State, and the third busiest airport by passenger traffic, only coming third to Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. In this article from Naijassador, you would learn more about this airport in one of the finest cities in the Niger Delta region.


The history of Port Harcourt International Airport can be traced back to the early 1930s when the airfield was constructed. Initially, it was called Port Harcourt Airfield and was opened in 1936 by the British administration in Nigeria during colonial rule.

In 1947, the airport was renamed Port Harcourt International Airport. Over the years, the airport has undergone several expansions and improvements to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region.

Some key events in the history of Port Harcourt International Airport include:

The original airport was constructed in 1936 and was later renamed Port Harcourt International Airport in 1947.

In 2003, the airport was privatized, with the management and operations being transferred to Bi-Courtier Aviation Services Limited (BCASL).

Between 2010 and 2014, the airport underwent a significant expansion and improvement program, which included the construction of a new passenger terminal.

In October 2018, the new terminal building, covering an area of 28,000m², was opened, increasing the airport’s capacity to handle more than 2 million passengers annually. Making Port Harcourt Airport an actual International Airport.

Some facts about Bi-Courtier Aviation Services Limited:

The Federal Government of Nigeria in 2000 embarked on a process of reforms in the aviation sector, including transferring the responsibility of the development, financing, management, and operations of Nigerian airports to the private sector.

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In 2003, Bi-Courtney Limited was awarded the concession by the Federal Government to develop, finance, manage, and operate the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2, Lagos (and ancillary assets) under a Design-Build-Operate-Transfer (DBOT) arrangement and it included Port Harcourt International Airport. Now the rights to finance, operate, and manage are owned by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Today, Port Harcourt International Airport is now the third busiest international airport in Nigeria by passenger traffic and plays a crucial role in the country’s economic development, particularly in the oil and gas sector.


Airport Road, Off Ogrila-Agwa Road, Omagwa, Port Harcourt.

Port Harcourt International Airport is located in Omagwa, a suburb of Port Harcourt, which is the capital city of the Rivers State in Nigeria. The airport is situated in the middle of the oil and gas hub of the country, playing a pivotal role in Nigerian economic development.

The location also played an important role in improving the odds of this international airport to make the top 3 busiest airports in Nigeria based on passenger traffic. The reason the location played a pivotal role in making this airport one of the best, is due to its location in south-south Nigeria. And in case you don’t know region that brings the most amount revenue to the Nigerian Economy and making investments in the airport to carry cargo makes it a no-brainer.

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Major Landmarks Around Port Harcourt International Airport

Omagwa Suburb: The airport is located in Omagwa, a suburb of Port Harcourt, which is the capital city of the Rivers State in Nigeria. This area is known for its proximity to the oil and gas industry, playing a significant role in the country’s economy.

Oil and Gas Industry Hub: The airport is situated in the middle of the oil and gas hub of the country, reflecting the economic significance of this industry in the region, which includes Nigeria LNG Limited among others.

Some Basic Facts About This Airport


Runway: A runway with a length of 3,001 meters and a width of 60 meters, both covered with an asphalt surface.

Terminals: Two terminals for both international and domestic flights.

Airport Coordinates: The airport’s coordinates are 5°00′55″N 6°57′00″E.

Cargo Movements

The cargo movement at Port Harcourt International Airport is significant, with a particular emphasis on the transportation of oil and gas equipment. The airport is known for its unique focus on the movement of oil and gas equipment, setting it apart from other airports that handle regular cargo. This was published by BusinessDay in 2018 before the new terminal was completed in October of that same year.

This was largely due to the improvements in cargo equipment by the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, (NAHCO). Unlike every other airport that engages in regular cargoes, Port Harcourt cargo airport is peculiar for its movement of oil and gas equipment because it is built within the South-South zone where oil and gas is a key business of the people who dwell or work in the state.


Cargo Handling Facility

The new Terminal constructed in Port Harcourt International Airport, already slightly covered in the article, started construction in 2014 and was open to the public in 2018 due to construction delays. This terminal can hold over 2 million people and also has an area for handling cargo. A two-story building was built featuring an apron, a dedicated cargo handling facility, commercial and retail spaces, and other ancillary facilities.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion, Port Harcourt International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Nigeria not by chance but rather by proper management and important investment in certain areas of the airport. Such as the unveiling of the new terminal in 2018 is one of such investment.

But we should also understand that this Airport is over 88 years old since its establishment in 1936 by the colonial rulers. Another fact here is the position of this fine Airport, it is located in the south-south region which is the hub of oil and gas which generates the most revenue for the Nigerian government.

It was not a matter of chance but rather a cumulation of the perfect location in the hub of oil and gas with years since establishment and also the fact that this airport has good management that has transitioned over time from BCASL to FAAN.








Written by Steve Sinclair


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