Five airports share 89.7% of passenger traffic in Nigeria in 2022 – Report

The Nigerian passenger movement has been on an upward trajectory since the country eased from the COVID-19 pandemic, which collapsed the global economies for most parts of 2020.

The passenger traffic in 2020 stood at 9,069,295, while it moved to 14.2 million in 2021, indicating an over 40% increase within the period.

For 2022, the passenger traffic increased to 16,173,361 from 14.2 million passengers, indicating a 13% increase when compared to the previous year.

In all, there are 32 airports in Nigeria, including five recognized international aerodromes, which are the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) and Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu.

Out of the over 16 million travelers that were airlifted into and out of the country in 2022, five airports in the country were conspicuous and responsible for the airlift of 89.7% of the total travelers within the period, while the other 27 airports airlifted just 10.3%, passengers, within the period.

The five airports shared 14,520,101 among themselves within the period, while the remaining 27 airports had a total of 1,653,260 travelers within the past year.

Top 5 Airports in Passenger Traffic in 2022

1.   Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos

The Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA), Lagos is the hub aerodrome in the entire West and Central African regions. The airport has two terminals; local and international for the processing of passengers.

The terminal, which was commissioned in 1979, was originally designed to airlift just 200,000 passengers annually, according to the Director-General Civil Aviation (DGCA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, but the terminal, which had witnessed a mild development in its last 44 years currently handles millions of passengers yearly and has remained the busiest airport in the country since its inception.

Statistics obtained from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), showed that the airline just like in the past had the highest passenger volume in 2022 with 6,526,023, representing 40.3 percent of the total passenger volume in 2022.

2.   Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (Nigeria)

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

Like the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja has two terminals for processing of air travelers; local and international.

The airport, which is situated in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the umpteenth time recorded emerged as the second busiest airport in Nigeria with 5,985,596.

This figure showed that the airport is responsible for the airlift of 37 percent of total passenger movement in the past, just 3.3 percent behind Lagos.

3.   Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA)

The Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) is located in Omagwa in Port Harcourt. And like the others, has two terminals for passenger processing.

The airport was regarded as the third worst airport in the world prior to October 2018 by statistics released by the Guide to Sleeping in Airports when former President Muhammadu Buhari launched its new terminal.

The terminal in the past year, airlifted 900,728 domestic travelers, while another 14,519 users used its facilities at the international wing, totaling 915,247 within the period.

4.   Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA)

The Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) is the oldest airport in Nigeria and holds the record of landing the first aircraft in Nigeria on November 1, 2025, with Airco DH. 9A of 47 Squadron (Stationed at Helwan Near Cairo).

The airport according to the NCAA statistics had a combined total of 585,190 passengers in the past year. The record indicated 39,441 international passengers, while domestic air travelers were 545,749 within the period.

5.   Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu

The fifth busiest airport in the country in the past year was Akanu Ibiam International Airport and was the latest international airport to be recognized by the Federal Government when the former Minister of Aviation, Sen. Stella Oduah in 2013, rehabilitated its facilities and upgraded it as an international airport.

In the past year, the airport airlifted 508, 513 domestic travelers, while only 4,532 passengers passed through its international terminal within the period, making it a total of 513,045 travelers.

Source: Nairametrics

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