What are the best airports in Afghanistan? There’s a lot of competition for this title, but what makes an airport great? Is it size, amenities, or something else? We break down ten of the best airports to fly through and why you should choose them.
Airports in Afghanistan
There are four international and six domestic airports in Afghanistan, all of which are used for commercial air travel. Kabul Airport is the largest international airport, and it’s officially referred to as Hamid Karzai International Airport (formerly Kabul International Airport).
Top Ten Best Airport in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a beautiful country with so much to offer. The people are kind and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the culture is rich. They have some of the most exciting architecture in the world as well as some of the best natural scenery. However, one thing that they don’t have on their list of attractions? A great airport!
Here we will explore Afghanistan’s top ten best airports.
1.Hamid Karzai International Airport
The Hamid Karzai Airport is the biggest international airport in Afghanistan. It’s located in Kabul, and it was officially renamed from Kabul International Airport to honor former president Hamid Karzai.
This Airport has three runways that can all accommodate large aircrafts such as 747s or 777s, making it a popular spot for airlines looking to fly into this country. The Airport is big. The building is for the people who are arriving or going away. To go to the other side, you need to go through security because it is on both sides of the terminal. Although you have access to duty-free shops inside and an ATM, you won’t find any restaurants here!
- Location: Kabul
- ICAO- OAKB
- IATA- KBL
- Runway- 11/29: 3511 × 45 m, Concrete
- Website- hamidkarzaiairport.com
- Established Date- 1960
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2.Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport
The Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport is located in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This one is the largest Airport in Afghanistan. The Airport has a single runway with an asphalt surface which can be used by large aircraft such as Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s for takeoffs and landings. It also offers cargo services to its customers, including UPU (Universal Postal Union), UPS Airlines Inc., FedEx Corporation, DHL Aviation RASCO Freight Forwarders Co., Ltd., and Emirates SkyCargo, all of which are all major airlines companies in the world right now.
- Location: Kandahar
- ICAO- OAKN
- IATA- KDH
- Runway- 05/23: 3200 × 55 m, Asphalt
- Website- http://www.kandaharinternationalairport.com/
- Established Date- 1960
3.Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Din Muhammad Balkhī International Airport
Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Din Muhammad Balkhī International Airport is the third largest Airport in Afghanistan. It has two runways, and it serves as one of the major airports in Afganistan.
The Airport was opened on February 25, 1962, and is located in the city of Mazār-e Sharīf, Balkh Province.
Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Din Muhammad Balkhī International Airport has been developed under the responsibility of Japan Airport Consultants Co., Ltd. It is now one of the major airports in Afghanistan.
In 2015 it served as Afghanistan’s primary civilian Airport for international flights due to renovation work being carried out at Kandahar Airport but now is only second to Kabul Airport in cargo movement and passenger traffic volume.
- Established Date- 1960
- Location: Mazar-i-Sharif
- ICAO- OAMS
- IATA- MZR
- Runway- 06/24: 2998 × 45 m, Asphalt
- Website- http://mazaresharifinternational.com/
4.Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport
Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport is an international airport located in Herat, Afghanistan. It has two runways 2500 meters long each, making it one of the longest in operation airports worldwide. The facility can handle jets as large as 747s and Antonov 124s, both for cargo or passenger use. Operated by Afghan Airports Company (AAC), Khawja Abdullah Ansaari Airport offers flights to destinations within Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and various other countries such as United Arab Emirates, China, and Saudi Arabia. Around 2100 people work at this major Airport, including aeronautical, administrative, and security personnel.
- Established Date-1960
- Location: Herat
- ICAO- OAHR
- IATA- HEA
- Runway- 01/19: 3014 × 45 m, Asphalt
- Website- http://heratinternational.com/
- Airport with the longest runway and largest passenger terminal
- Major Airport serves around 14 million passengers per year.
Domestic Airport in Afganistan
5.Bost Airport Airport in Afghanistan
Bost Airport is the fifth largest Airport in Afghanistan. Bost Airport has been operational since September 2008 and was inaugurated by Hamed Karzai on December 27, 2009. This Airport serves over 18 million passengers annually and handles 800 aircraft arrivals per year with up to 200 flights a day at peak periods.
This Airport has a lot of cargo that it handles each week. It is one of the busiest airports in the world. It also has a lot of cars and other things that come and go from the Airport.
- Location: Lashkargah
- ICAO- OABT
- IATA- BST
- Runway- 01/19: 2302 × 30 m, Asphalt
Farah Airport is the sixth largest Airport in Afghanistan. The Airport has a runway of about 3500 ft and 1800 m long, built on 45 acres. Before the invasion, this Airport was used by Soviet forces for military purposes. It only has a domestic terminal that serves flights to Herat city with connections to Kabul and Dubai airports.
It also hosts civilian aircraft from Turkmenistan Airlines that connect Farahs’ international flight destination Ashgabat with Mazar e Sharif and Kandahar International Airport (KIA). However, security threats have led authorities to restrict operations at night due to insurgent activity in surrounding areas.
- Location: Farah
- ICAO- OAFR
- IATA- FAH
- Runway- 15/33: 1836 × 34 m, Asphalt
Ghazni Airport is one of the major airports in Afghanistan. It has one runway and an asphalt surface. The Airport’s elevation above sea level is 1358 feet, making it prone to certain weather conditions. This includes wind shear and microbursts that can cause heavy snowfall or rain at any point during the year. In fact, high winds affect this Airport more than others due to its location close to a mountain range on the Hindu Kush Mountains.
NATO forces used this airfield for troops from 2004 to 2008. But then the Taliban grew strong again, and NATO moved their forces southward near Kabul. NATO forces also bombed the Airport in 2008, which caused one fatality and four injuries.
- Location: Ghazni
- IATA- GZI
- Runway- 15/33: 305 x ? m (being expanded)
Jalalabad Airport is ranked number eight among the top ten best airports in Afganistan. It was built by American forces and opened on March 15, 2010, to replace Kabul International Airport, demolished after heavy fighting during the Soviet invasion of 1979. The Jalalabad Airport spans over approximately 50 acres with a runway length of 12,000 feet and widths at 75 meters wide. This Airport can hold up to 230 planes. 120 of the planes are Airbus 320s or Boeing 737s. There are also smaller planes like Cessna 208 Caravans and Hawker 400XPs.
- Location: Jalalabad
- IATA- JAA
- Runway- 13/31: 1975 × 27 m, Asphalt
Khost Airport is a small airport in the southeastern part of Afghanistan. It has one runway that measures 4580 feet, and it doesn’t have any facilities for commercial flights, so travelers will need to use nearby Sharana Airport.
This makes Khost Airport primarily used as a military airbase by NATO forces stationed on Afghan soil like service members from Italy or Turkey. Russian troops now fighting ISIS terrorists in Syria under the banner of their anti-terror coalition.
The number of passengers who passed through this Airport last year was about 17 million, which means more than half of all Afghans flew through Khost Airport at least once!
- Location: Khost
- ICAO- OAKS
- IATA- KHT
- Runway- 06/24: 1859 × 27 m, Asphalt
Kunduz Airport is located in Kunduz. It has the capacity to handle up to 343 passengers per hour.
Kunduz Airport also provides cargo and VIP flights for the government of Afghanistan, NATO forces, contractors, NGOs, and other humanitarian organizations serving remote areas within Northeastern Afghanistan
- Location: Kunduz
- ICAO- OAUZ
- IATA- UND
- Runway- 11/29: 1996 m x 45 m, Asphalt
If you’re planning to visit Afghanistan, you must know what airports are the best. This “Top Ten Best Airports in Afghanistan” list should help with your decision and guide you for a smooth trip! Which Airport is on this list?