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Rabat-Salé Airport: Wikis


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Rabat-Salé Airport
مطار الرباط سلا
First Royal Air Force Base
Salé Airport is located in Morocco
Salé Airport
Location of airport in Morocco
Airport type Public / Military
Operator ONDA
Location Rabat, Morocco
Elevation AMSL 276 ft / 84 m
Coordinates 34°03′05″N 006°45′05″W / 34.05139°N 6.75139°W / 34.05139; -6.75139
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 3,500 11,483 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Salé Airport or Rabat-Salé Airport (IATA: RBAICAO: GMME) is an airport serving Rabat,[1] the capital city of Morocco, and also the capital of the Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer region. It is a joint use public and military airport, also known as the First Royal Air Force Base.[1] The airport is located about 8 kilometres (5 mi) east-northeast of Rabat and about90 km (56 mi) northeast of Casablanca.

In 2008 the airport handled over 333,000 passengers[3]



During World War II, the airport was used as a military airfield by the United States Army Air Forces Twelfth Air Force during the North African campaign. The 319th Bombardment Group flew B-26 Marauders from the airfield between 25 Apr - 1 Jun 1943.

After the Americans moved out their active units in mid-1943, the airport was used as a stopover and landing field for Air Transport Command aircraft on the Casablanca-Algiers transport route. When the war ended, control of the airfield was returned to civil authorities.

During the early years of the Cold War, the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command used the airport as its headquarters for its 5th and 316th Air Divisions. Various SAC aircraft, primarily B-47 Stratojets and KC-97 Stratotankers used the airport until the United States Air Force withdrew from Morocco in 1957.



Passenger terminal and facilities

Access to the airport only possible by taxi or private car; free parking space available.

  • The public area (arrivals exit) offers kiosk/tobacconist, banks/ATM, café-bar, phone/fax service.
  • The departure lounge offers: café-bar, duty-free shop, telephones, smoking-lounge
  • A facility for praying is located outside the terminal building.

The following airlines have a ticket-office/representation in the terminal:

The terminal is 3.900 m2 large and has a maximum capacity of 700.000 passengers/year.[4]

Freight facilities

The freight-terminal covers an area of 1360 m2.

Parking/ramp for aircraft

An area of 84.000 m2 is available for passenger aircraft offering 10 stands. The stands can receive 1 x Boeing 747, 3 x Boeing 737, 2 x Airbus A310 and 4 x Airbus A320


The single runway lies in direction 04/22, is 3500 meter long and 45 meter wide.


The airport has an ILS Class 1 certification and offers the following radionavigational aids: VORDMENDB[4]

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Buraq Air Tripoli
Jet4you Paris-Orly
Royal Air Maroc Agadir, Paris-Orly
Royal Air Maroc operated by Atlas Blue Brussels [begins 29 June], Paris-Orly [begins 26 June]

Traffic statistics

Item 2008[5] 2007[6] 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Movements[7] 4051 3244 2743 2295 2300 2304 2117
Passengers[8] 334,675 260,992 203,527 178,222 155,857 161,077 161,865
Cargo (Metric tons)[9] 1230.06 1204.35 1459.79 1201.84 1265.79 1274.05 1322.50


On July 12, 1961, a Czech Airlines (CSA) Ilyushin Il-18 en route from Zürich-Kloten to Rabat-Salé Airport diverted to Casablanca Anfa Airport (GMMC) after receiving weather info indicating ground fog at Rabat-Salé. As the conditions at GMMC weren't good either the captain of the plane asked permission to land at Casablanca-Nouasseur (CMN), then a USAF base. While GMMC controllers contacted American authorities the plane crashed 13 kn. SSW of GMMC. All 72 on board (64 passengers, 8 crew) died. The exact reason of crash never discovered.[10]

On September 12, 1961, an Air France Sud Aviation Caravelle en route from Paris-Orly to Rabat-Salé Airport. The weather conditions at the time were non-favourable: thick fog and low visibility. The pilot informed traffic control it intended to land using the Non-directional beacon. Traffic control warned the pilot that the NDR was not in-line with the runway, but this message received no response. The aircraft crashed 9 km. SSW of the airport. All 77 on board (71 passengers, 6 crew) died. The exact reason was never discovered but investigators reported errors in instrument reading as the most likely reason.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Airport information for GMME from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  2. ^ Airport information for RBA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ Source details: Official ONDA REPORT
  4. ^ a b Source ONDA website about Rabat-Sale Airport visited May 21, 2008
  5. ^ source details 2008:Official ONDA report 2007-2008
  6. ^ Source 2007 statistics: Presentation Rabat-Salé Airport on ONDA website, visited May 20, 2008
  7. ^ Statistics until 2006 from Statistics Movements, PDF document
  8. ^ Statistics until 2006 from Overview passengers stats MA, PDF document
  9. ^ Statistics until 2006 from freight stats, PDF document
  10. ^ Accident facts taken from website, visited on May 21, 2008
  11. ^ Accident facts taken from website, visited on May 21, 2008

External links


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