Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority is overseeing the rapid development of the kingdom’s airport facilities. Future Airport finds out what this means for tourism, trade, passengers and cargo.

Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) was established under Section 4 of the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2009. It executes its functions through a board of directors and management headed by a director general. Its board is appointed by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for a term of three years, and consists of individuals who are professionals in their own right. Its chairman, President Dhlamini, is a qualified and experienced pilot.

SWACAA’s management is led by its director general and CEO, Solomon Dube, who is responsible for the exercise of the powers and the discharge of the duties of the authority, subject to the overall control and supervision of the board. Dube exercises his powers and duties through the executive management. The authority was established to:

  • promote safe, secure, regular and efficient air transport services to, from and within Swaziland
  • meet and exceed, wherever possible, the standards and recommended practices prescribed by ICAO in the annexes to the Chicago Convention
  • provide adequate, efficient and quality airport facilities and services
  • develop an airport as a secondary hub
  • maintain a qualified, cost-sensitive and motivated workforce
  • restructure the civil aviation activities
  • improve the financial and economic viability of civil aviation
  • further the interest of users of air transport in Swaziland.

Happy landings

King Mswati III International Airport (KMIII) opened on 7 March 2014 and the first commercial flight took place on 30 September that year. The airport is Swaziland’s major international hub, with the capacity to accommodate large aircraft and long-haul flight operations that connect the kingdom directly with the world. The airport is located on flat terrain with good visibility, and is a strategic gateway to Swaziland and the surrounding region for tourism and trade, passengers and cargo. Aircraft that have landed at KMIII include:

  • a South African Airlink commercial carrier
  • a United Airlines B747-400 with elephant cargo
  • various state aircraft
  • general aviation aircraft.

Precious cargo

The authority completed a study on cargo viability in March 2014, and a new cargo airline, Aghaleaku, has been licensed and started operating from KMIII in August 2016. The authority has also continued to manage and operate Matsapha Airport as an alternative aerodrome to cater for VVIP movements and for the establishment of the Swaziland Aviation Training Academy (SCATA), which should benefit from the decreased activity at the airport since the opening of KMIII.

Airlink Swaziland is currently the only passenger service airline operating from Matsapha. Aghaleaku Airways is a new airline that has already commenced cargo operations between Swaziland, South Africa and Kenya.