History of Airport

The History of the Seychelles International Airport

The Seychelles International Airport was officially opened on the 20th March 1972, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, although since the 1970’s  Wilkenair of Kenya was operating a  weekly ferry service between Mombasa and Mahe, via Diego Suarez in Madagascar and Astove Island (Seychelles) using a twin engine Piper Navajo.

At the time of the opening, the airport’s runway was  only  2987 meters long with a control tower, and all  ground handling operations  were undertaken  by the Directorate of Civil Aviation better known as (DCA).

The first jet aircraft to land at Seychelles International Airport was the BOAC Super VC10 on July 4th 1971; which opened the Seychelles to increased tourism traffic. The growth of tourism also heightened the aviation industry propelling an expansion of the current structure to meet  further demands  for larger aircrafts to access the airport.

In July 1980, a new terminal building accommodating  400 arriving and departing passengers was built together with parking bays for up to six large jet aircrafts such as the Boeing 767 or the Airbus A330 including additional  parking area for five light aircrafts such as the Boeing 737 or the Airbus A320.

The years 2005-2006 brought along further developments  in Civil Aviation in the Seychelles, in the form of the enactment of  The Civil Aviation Authority Act  in 4th April, 2006  which allowed  for the corporatisation of the Directorate of the Civil Aviation, to the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority as it is today.

Further to this, additional parking areas were made available at the airport in order to handle the parking of  private charters  and long stay aircrafts which had significantly increased.

Continuous rise in passenger traffic over the years, resulted in infrastructural expansion  of the airport in 2016. The International Arrival Terminal underwent refurbishment to modernize its interiors while the International Departure Lounge was fitted with an extra mezzanine floor to increase seating capacity. 2018 witnessed a new  Inadmissible Persons Facility for temporary accommodation of prohibited persons and the Extension of the Domestic Terminal which was officially opened by the President Danny Faure in June, 2019.

Fun Facts

The ICAO code for Seychelles Airport are (IATA: SEZ, ICAO: FSIA),
1971 - Wilkenair of Kenya operated a weekly service at Seychelles International Airport using a twin engine Piper Navajo.
1971 March - Tony Bentley-Buckle was the first pilot to land at Seychelles airport, flying his private plane from Mombasa to Mahe via Moroni in 9 hours 35 minutes.
1971 November - East African Airways flew to Seychelles
1971 December - Luxair landed here.
1971 July – BOAC Super VC10 was the first jet aircraft landed at the Seychelles International Airport.
1972 March - Official opening of the airport by Queen Elizabeth 11
1972 – Air Mahe became the first local company to operate flights between Praslin, Fregate and Mahe using a Piper PA-34 Seneca, and later a Britten-Norman Islander.
1973 - Aviation Seychelles Company carried out ground handling and airport operations.
1974 – 30 airlines operated in Seychelles

1986 – Concorde came to Seychelles carrying the French President, Mr. Francois Miterrand.

SIA has the largest underground water harvesting system storing 20,000 cubic liters of water.
All airport fire engines use water from harvesting water tanks saving gallons.