Arusha Airport

Arusha Airport – Arusha’s Lesser Known Airport

The Arusha Airport is one of the two major airports in Arusha. It is small airport which owned by Government of Tanzania and operated by Tanzania Airports Authority. The airport serves as hub for Air Excel and Regional Air and is at an elevation of 1,387 meters above mean sea level. Also known as Arusha Municipal Airport, it is a domestic airport located on the outskirts of the city and is currently connected to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. The airport is currently under renovation for a new apron and terminal building and all the domestic as well as international flights currently land at the Kilimanjaro International Airport which is around 60 km from the city center. The Arusha Airport is located in the west part of the city and when it was operational it handled around 87,000 passengers yearly. The airport is undergoing renovation post which the terminal capacity of the airport to 1500 square meters and will house departures, arrivals and business lounges, along with an additional 2000 square meters for offices and commercial area. Arusha is a very popular city from tourism perspective and is regarded as the gateway to the popular Northern Safari Circuit.


The Arusha airport is older than the Kilimanjaro Airport and was built in the 1950’s when it was used as colonial administration and during that time it served for agro-aviation. It became a major connection point after the country gained its independence. Sprawling on an area of 129 acres of land, the new airport is being majorly reconstructed with the aim to tap evolving opportunities in the thriving tourism trade of the country. The expansion will cost around $ 25 million and will be funded by Tanzania Airports Authority. The day of inauguration of the new airport has still not been decided and is most likely to happen by the end of this decade.


Coastal Aviation, Precision Air, Regional Air, Tropical Air and ZanAir are the airline companies that operated flights to and from the Arusha Municipal Airport. Once the renovation is completed the airport will start handling over 15,000 aircraft movements per annum and the capacity of handling the passenger will increase to 150,000. The new airport will also include aviation fuel farm, aircraft maintenance hangars and exhibition center along with upgraded runway, increased taxiway and an ultra-modern hotel within the airport premise. The officials associated with the expansion are considering the growth of passengers from 100,000 in 2008 to 400,000 in 2020.


Till now the airport has not received any award or recognitions for its contribution towards the civil aviation sector of Tanzania.

Routes and Destinations

Currently the airport is not operational but when it was functional 5 airline companies operated regular passenger flights to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Pemba Island, Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Mafia Island, Mikumi, Mwanza, Ruaha, Selous, Serengeti, Seronera and Tanga.

Current Scenario

Since the Arusha Regional Airport is currently closed for renovation, passengers planning to travel to Arusha should take the flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is located just 60 km from Arusha Regional Airport. The airport is at an elevation of 894 meters above sea level and is operated by KADCO. The airport recorded 665,147 passenger movements in the year 2012 and is popularly known as ‘Gateway to Africa’s Wildlife Heritage’. The airport has been in existence since December 1971 and it was built by a long term loan of US$ 13 million which was funded by the Italian government. The airport in Kilimanjaro has a single asphalt runway which measures 3,600 meters and is also the first airport in Africa to have been privatized.

Currently Airkenya Express, Ehtiopian Airlines, Regional Air Service, Rwand Air, Fastjet, Kenya Airways, KLM, Coastal Aviation, Condor, Precision Air, Qatar Airways, Safarilink Aviation and Turkish Airlines operates flight services to and from the Kilimanjaro airport. This airport is also the major stop for international flights.

Arusha is surrounded by some of the most popular wildlife destinations and from Kilimanjaro airport most of the airline run a free shuttle service to the city center. If you do not wish to avail the taxi service you can take a cab which will cost you around USD 50. Privately run coaches are also available for Arusha city from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Currently there are no train services between Kilimanjaro and Arusha and taking a taxi or shared vehicle is the best option.

In case you are not flying to Kilimanjaro, passengers can also take flights to Lake Manyara airport, another domestic airport serving the Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania. It is 96 km from Arusha. The Amboseli airport is 103 km while the Nairobi Wilson airport is around 228 km. The Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is another major airport in the country and is located at a distance of 229 km from Arusha Regional Airport.

Airports near Arusha:

 Who flies to Arusha

 Airport Contact Details

Arusha Airport

PO Box 502,

Tel:+255 (0)27 2505980

 Location Details

Longitude:36° 40' 59'' E
Latitude:3° 22' 0'' S

 Airport Location

Google map

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