History of airports

Mali airport: from yesterday to today

Created in 1970 as a public industrial and commercial establishment, Aéroports du Mali (ADM) is a Malian company responsible for the commercial operation, protection and development of these facilities and equipment open to public air traffic.
Aéroports du Mali (ADM) has been managed since September 2020 by Colonel Lassina Togola, who is its Chairman and CEO.

Indeed, in accordance with Law 2016-029 of July 7, 2016 establishing “Airports of Mali”, ADM’s mission is to ensure the commercial management of airports, the coordination of activities on airport platforms, development and improvement of the infrastructure entrusted to it.

As such, he is responsible for:

  • Develop reception, information and facilitation services for passengers and the public;
  • Coordinate the activities of air transport organizations and partners as well as public services on the Airport Platform;
  • Manage, preserve and sustainably develop airport areas.
  • Develop, enhance and operate airport areas and both national and international assets granted; coordinate activities aimed at the certification of international airports;
  • Implement national and international standards and regulations; protect the airport environment and fight against animal and bird risks.

Currently, ADM has 9 airports in Mali, 6 of which are international, namely: Bamako-Sénou, Kayes Dag Dag, Mopti Ambodédjo, Sikasso Dignagan, Tombouctou and Gao) and 3 national airports which are: Nioro, Yélimané and Goundam.

Bamako International Airport, Mali’s main airport, had as its current site the ACI 2000 zone in the heart of the Malian capital.

With the strong urbanization of Bamako, the authorities decided to relocate it to Senou in 1975. At the time, it was about 15 km south of downtown Bamako, on an area of ​​7,194 ha. But currently, the last dwellings are in the airport area. Hence the numerous demolition operations for reasons of air safety and security, the last of which took place in January 2021 and is continuing.

Built in 1974 to accommodate 250,000 passengers, Bamako-Senou Airport will accommodate 900,000 in 2019 (Sources ADM). A fine performance made possible thanks to the enormous investments made with the support of technical and financial partners and especially the dynamism of the general management of ADM, supported by the supervisory department. But alas, interrupted by COVID 19 since 2020 which has strongly impacted air transport.

In 2006, the government of Mali signed an agreement with the United States of America, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), relating to the modernization and extension of Bamako-Senou Airport. The said project included three interrelated activities, each of which plays a fundamental role in the socio-economic development of Mali. This involved the construction of the new passenger terminal and associated infrastructure, the extension of 500 meters and the rehabilitation of the existing runway with associated works.

Since January 1, 2016, Bamako-Senou International Airport bears the name of the father of the independence of Mali, Modibo Keïta. It has a single runway of 2,700 meters which allows its use by large aircraft of the Boeing 747 type but requires them to have maximum load constraints for take-off safety. The track was increased by 500 meters. Thus, it measures 3,200 m long and 45 m wide.

The passenger terminal consists of two buildings: the original building, inaugurated in 1975 of 2,400 m2 and a second of 1,000 m2 built in 2002 for the African Cup of Nations which took place. in Mali.
As part of the renovation of Bamako-Sénou Airport and the France-Africa Summit in 2015, a new terminal was built by merging the two existing ones.

A terminal with 13 check-in desks is reserved for passengers. A new passenger terminal meeting international standards was built in 2012. Bamako Airport also includes another terminal for goods.

According to several visitors, Bamako airport is one of the nicest in West Africa thanks to the quality of its services, in particular the reception of travelers on departure and arrival. Indeed, it has accessible sanitary facilities, a large car park, shops, a refreshment bar and air-conditioned halls which allow you to wait for the flight in good conditions.

In addition, AIPMK-S provides its customers with a pleasant air experience with flight punctuality of around 90%. Therefore, passengers are advised to take all necessary measures before traveling to Mali. It is among other things important to be in order with the sanitary, administrative and customs formalities. This will allow them to travel serenely.

It should also be noted that the vaccine against yellow fever is compulsory to be able to enter the territory. Thus, the passenger must present their international vaccination card upon arrival at the airport.

It should be noted that the presence of the passenger at Bamako airport is compulsory two hours before the scheduled take-off time. Because most airlines no longer check in passengers 60 minutes before departure time.

Also, when the passenger completes his check-in, he must go immediately to the boarding lounge to carry out the police formalities which may be lengthy in the event that several take-offs are planned at short intervals. On average, travelers must allow 30 to 40 minutes to complete these customs and police formalities and to collect their luggage.

In addition, for each flight arrival and departure, taxis are available at the airport. They are recognizable by their yellow color. Prices are generally established by the GIE des taxis de Bamako. Otherwise, there are also shuttle buses owned by partner hotels to travel between the airport, tourist areas and the city center. If you are considering staying in a hotel, be sure to ask if there is a shuttle bus to your place of accommodation. In addition, for VIPs, several transport companies offer support services from the reception to the exit of customs formalities to the hotel or residence.