King Mswati III International Airport is the largest airport in the country and serves as the base of Swaziland Air Link. The airport is operated by the Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini. The terminal was officially opened to the public in 2014, but aircraft operations had already started in 2013. The passenger terminal is a relatively big facility with a capacity to handle 300 passengers at any given time. The airport is well suited for operations of heavy aircraft, with its 3580m runway length, very high pavement classification number and elevation and reference temperature of 1092 feet and 30 degrees Celsius respectively. It is certified for operations of a Boeing 777. The airport has enough space to handle cargo, has more than five cargo handling agents and two cargo and passenger aircraft handling agents.
The airport has no network of taxiways supporting the full length of the runway. The available taxiways connect the runway to the apron. Aircraft backtrack on the runway and turning pads are provided at the beginning of each runway to facilitate ease maneuvering before take-off. The airport operates during the day from 6am to 6pm daily, but is available for night operations if required. It is equipped with the necessary runway lighting to facilitate operations at night. Generally, the airport has most of the handling equipment necessary to take care of operations and hires from neighboring South Africa in instances where there is need for specialized equipment. There are no catering services available at the airport, but a catering structure is available. However, there is a network of hotels surrounding the airport where catering can be sourced.
Airport Location and Contact
Kingdom of Eswatini
Province or District
Nearest Town or City with Distance from Airport
Siteki and 50 km from Manzini City
Airport’s Complete Name
King Mswati III (Sikhuphe) International Airport
Elevation (ft and m)
1092ft / 332.84m
Managing Company or Airport Authority
Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority
Management Contact Person
Mr. Bongani E.M Lukhele
Director, Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority
+268 23335000 / 5301
Open From (hours)
Open To (hours)
A. Terminal Building
B. Cargo Centre
C. Police Post
D. Catering Building
E. Airside Vehicle Access Gate
F. Control Tower
G. Fire and Rescue and Maintenance Centre
Description and Contacts of Key Companies
- Ground Handling Companies - The two ground handling companies at the airport are Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation (RSNAC) and Aviation Associates. The Ground Handling Companies broadly offer all those services required by an aircraft between landing and take-off, for example, the marshalling of aircraft, loading/unloading, refueling, baggage handling, passenger handling, aircraft maintenance and so on.
- Airlines - The two airlines housed at the airport are Royal Swazi National Airways Corporation and Swazi Airlink. They are responsible for moving people and cargo in and out of the Kingdom of Eswatini.
- Eswatini Revenue Authority - Eswatini Revenue Authority is responsible for regulating the export and import of goods into the country, which includes collecting customs duties and preventing smuggling and illegal trade.
- Eswatini Immigration - Immigration office is involved in ensuring the Kingdom of Eswatini immigration laws are adhered to and includes the checking of eligibility of passengers entering as well as leaving the Kingdom.
- Port Health - Port Health serves as the first line of defense to protect the citizens of the Kingdom of Eswatini and visitors against the entry of communicable diseases associated with cross border movement of people, conveyances, baggage, cargo and imported consignments.
- Police and Military - Police and the military provide security to the airport facility and its environs as well as administration of the Police Act in instances where disorder is promoted.
- Nedbank - The bank facilitates the exchange of currency to promote economic transactions.
- Car Rental - There is AVIS Car rental whose responsibility is to provide car rental services to mostly passengers and the public.
For more information on airport contacts, please see the following link: 4.5 Airport Companies Contact List.
Information on some aviation service providers can be found at: http://www.azfreight.com/
Passenger and Cargo Performance Indicator
The airport has sizeable space to take care of perishable, general cargo, live animals and valuable cargo. Currently it is operating well below capacity because of the level of activity. There are more than five cargo agents servicing the airport as well as two cargo aircraft handling agents. In terms of passengers, the airport has the capacity to handle 300 passengers at a specific point in time and again it is operating well below capacity because of the low level of aircraft and passenger movement. There are no measures contemplated at the moment relating to both cargo and passengers as the airport has excess capacity.
Performance for 2018
Total Aircraft Movements
Total Capacity of the Airport (MT)
Current Activity of the Airport (MT)
Current use by Humanitarian Flights (UNHAS)
Currently the airport has excess cargo capacity. It can take care of perishables, general, valuable and plant and animal cargo and even human remains.
The runway dimensions are 3580 m x 45 m, a Pavement Classification Number of 59, and asphalt pavement and friction tested in December 2016. There are no runway structural issues to talk about as this is a new facility.
3580 m x 45 m
The runway is served by one Instrument Landing System (ILS Cat1) and two VOR approaches. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) approaches as well as GNSS based Standard Instrument Departures and Standard Arrival Procedures are currently under design.
Airport Infrastructure Details
In addition to the physical attributes outlined above, the runway is equipped with approach and runway lighting. There is also a secondary power supply with a switch over time of 15 seconds. The ILS and other navigation aids serving the airfield are calibrated every 6 months. GNSS based Standard Instrument Departures and Standard Arrival Procedures are currently under design.
JET A-1 fuel
Single Point Refuelling
Air Starter Units
Ground Power (mobile)
Pax Transport to Airfield
Ground Handling Services
Fire Fighting Category (ICAO)
Cat 7 upgradable to 9 on request
Base Operating Room
Parking Ramp Lighting
Approach & Runway Lights
Airport Operating Details
Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Bulk Cargo
Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Pallet
Total Aircraft Parking Area (m²)
Storage Area (m3 and MT)
Elevators / Hi Loaders
Max Capacity (MT)
Max Height (m)
Customs officials are responsible for regulating the import and export of goods into Eswatini. Customs clearance depends largely on the processing speed of the assigned clearing agent. It is recommended that paperwork be presented on the previous day for the goods to be collected on the following day. The customs offices are located inside the passenger terminal and at the Cargo Centre and they are open every time the airport is open, and this happens to be 6am to 6pm for the time being.
For more information on customs in Eswatini, please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information.
Currently cargo can be stored at the warehouse for a maximum of 3 days before it starts attracting charges. The Cargo warehouse is segmented into various categories of cargo i.e. Perishable cargo, general cargo, live animals, valuable cargo etc. Space is limited to each category type according to current demand. Documentation is done by Cargo agents and they also give guidance on the applicable taxes. No security charge is levied.
Air navigation charges are billed by Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), South Africa on behalf of Swaziland and can be contacted on www.atns.com. Information for this table is attached as Airport Charges but handling charges are filled in. The airport charges are denominated in Emalangeni which can be converted to US dollars using the prevailing exchange rate.
Aircraft Weight - MTOW (kg)
0 - 7,000
7,001 - 136,000
136,001 and over
Navigation (per journey) USD - $
Landing USD - $
Night Landing USD - $
Night Take-Off USD - $
First four (4) hours free, then usd 5 per 24 hour period or part thereof
Fuel Service Charges
Avgas is not available at King Mswati III, but at Matsapha Airport, which is 50km away. Jet A1 charges change every month, but the price is generally 90 US cents a litre as of March 2022.
Price per Litre USD - $
Cargo Terminal Charges
A detailed narrative relating to cargo can be found with both the cargo handling agents, cargo aircraft handlers and the Revenue Authority whose contact details have been included in this document. It is important to enter into some contractual arrangements for any credit to be granted by the Handling Company. Credit terms can always be applied for and granted only to reputable and organizations of good standing. Otherwise only cash settlements are prescribed.
Type of Charge
Rate USD - $ per kg
Min 11 US$ >150KG<10c/kg
US$11 the min charge.
Break Bulk Fee
Pallet breaking charge per pallet
Min 11 US$ >150KG<10c/kg
Strong Room – per consignment
No charges applied
Cold Storage Fee
Charge is per shipment min is 65kg
Delivery Outside Normal Working Hours
Preparation of substitute AOA – Invoice – Receipt
Not applicable for now
Storage per Day
Grace period (Hours)?
Handling Charges – Un-palletized Cargo
Min 11 US$ >150KG<10c/kg
International Air Waybill
Local Air Waybill
Air Way Bill Amendment - Cancellation
Applies to both cancellation and amendments
Air Way Bill Documentation
Storage Charges per Day
The security setup of the airport is based on a team approach capable of preventing, detecting and responding to security emergencies and is provided in 4-fold; Aviation Security (AVSEC) at the epicentre of aviation operations, the Police, the Army and Contract security with their duties as follows;
- AVSEC – mainly for access control and the screening of persons, baggage, mail, cargo, vehicles, CCTV monitoring and perimeter patrols to mention but a few.
- The Police – they act as an AVSEC backup and provide intelligence to airport operations, conduct background checks and vetting as well as other general policing functions.
- Army (UEDF) – for the overall protection and intelligence of the Airport and off-site facilities since an airport falls under National Key Points.
- Contract Security – they act as an extended arm and eye for AVSEC mainly in guard and patrol duties on the landside area of the airport.
All the security measures in application are based on a risk assessment and a collective contingency plan is in place to ensure preparedness. Such a plan is periodically tested for efficiency and applicability.
Due to financial constraints, our screening machines are currently single view models, rendering it difficult to detect some prohibited items in the x-ray machines. The plan is to buy the equipment in peace meal, spanning for about 5 years depending on the availability and distribution of the subvention to SWACAA. The State is in a process of establishing an Air Navigation Service (ANS), which department is by standard required to develop a security programme. The ANS Security Programme shall cover all air navigation security concerns. The AVSEC Operations Unit has also introduced an Internal Quality Control Programme, which programme has been designed to detect and minimise security deficiencies as early as practicable.