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Sal International Airport, Cape Verde

March 20th, 2009 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Amílcar Cabral International Airport (IATA: SID, ICAO: GVAC), also known as Sal International Airport or Amílcar Cabral Airport, is the principal international airport of Cape Verde. The airport is named after the revolutionary leader Amílcar Cabral.

It is located 2 km (1.3 miles) west-southwest from Espargos on Sal Island. Until September 2005, it was the only airport in Cape Verde to serve international flights. (Cape Verde's other international airports are near Praia on Santiago Island and on Boavista.) Another international airport is to open on the island of Sao Vicente, near the capital of Mindelo.

The airport's main runway (01/19) is 3,272m (10,734 ft) and is the longest in Cape Verde. It is used for long-haul flights. It is also one of the designated emergency landing strips for the U.S. Space Shuttle. The second runway (07/25) is 1,500m (4,921 ft) and is used by small planes. Sal is the main hub for the national airline, TACV Cabo Verde Airlines.

The first airport on Sal Island was built in 1939 by Italy, as a fuel and provisions stopping-point on routes from Rome to South America. The first flight, an arrival from Rome and Seville, was on December 15, 1939. In 1947, the Portuguese colonial government purchased the airport from Italian interests. In 1950, DC-4 service on Alitalia began on a Rome-Sal-Buenos Aires-Caracas route. In 1961 jet service (a DC-8) on the route rendered the stop at Sal unnecessary, and international service was suspended.

In 1967, Sal was used again as a refueling stop, this time by South African Airways, for flights to and from Europe, since SAA was denied landing rights by most African countries due to the international boycott of apartheid. Later, Cubana and Aeroflot used Sal for refueling and passenger flights.

In 1985, TACV began service to Boston, Massachusetts using a LAM DC10. Boston hosts the largest Cape Verdean community in the United States. TACV flights to Boston have since been shifted to Praia International Airport. Other international destinations include Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, and Porto. Domestic destinations include Santiago and São Vicente.

Currently TAAG Angolan Airlines code-shares with TACV with a stop-over in Sal due to the European Union ban on the Angolan airline operating in its airspace.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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