Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia: Fuel, Additional Services and Security

PT 4 M minute read

This is a post by authors Stanley Joseph and Tigist Aberra. Stanley and Tigist work for Kilimanjaro Aviation Logistics Centre (KALC), a subsidiary of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. which is headquartered in Mwanza, Tanzania. Stanley and Tigist are experts on permits and handling aircraft for the African region and can be contacted at and

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Ethiopia and continues from our last article: “Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia: Ground Handling

Fuel uplifts and arrangements for additional support services in Ethiopia usually go smoothly when using a supervisory agent. However, credit arrangements can be a concern in this region if not adequately addressed in advance. Your supervisory agent will assist with coordinating all credit arrangements.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Fuel considerations

For fuel uplifts in Ethiopia it’s important to make arrangements in advance. A fuel release should always be sent to the local fuel company and to your supervisory agent who will follow up on the request. At the time of uplift no aircraft documentation needs to be presented to the fueler. Addis Ababa (HAAB) has at least a couple of fuel providers available to general aviation (GA) operations. Fuel credit is normally arranged via your supervisory agent as the ground handler is not usually involved in this process. Note that cash is not an acceptable form of payment for fuel uplift in Ethiopia. Credit cards are often accepted along with certain fuel carnets. It’s always best to confirm in advance what form of payment will be used. Best procedure is to specify fuel volume requirements to ensure the fueler arrives planeside with the needed quantity.

2. Fuel delivery

Fuel trucks at HAAB usually arrive on time and the fuel farm is located close to the GA parking area. There are times however, particularly during high traffic periods, when you may experience fuel delivery delays of up to 30 minutes. All GA fueling in Ethiopia is done with fuel trucks and aircraft may be fueled at their parking location at any airport in the country. Most operators choose to uplift fuel day of departure, or the day prior if takeoff is an early morning takeoff is planned. If you’re heading to Arba Minch (HAAM) – in the southern Ethiopian province of Gamu-Goga – be mindful that fuel is not available at this location.

3. Tech stops

Turnaround time for fuel uplift tech stops at HAAB does not usually exceed 45-60 minutes depending on aircraft type. Note that landing permits are required for tech stop purposes. These permits are only good for the tech stop and max time on the ground is limited to two hours. If you need to stay more than two hours a new permit must be obtained.

4. Ground support equipment

A wide selection of ground support equipment (GSE) is available for GA operations at HAAB. You’ll have more limited GSE options at smaller airports so it’s important to check availability well in advance of day of operation.

5. In-flight catering availability

HAAB is the only airport in Ethiopia with an in-flight caterer on the field. It’s recommended that this catering service be used as the quality is good and airport authorities do not allow catering from other sources to be brought airside by the ground handler. If you source catering outside the airport only crew will be permitted to bring it out to the aircraft. Plan on at least 24 hours notification for catering requests with additional lead time for special requests.

6. Local transport

It’s recommended that crew use prepaid transportation (car with driver) for local transport within Ethiopia. Rental cars are available at both HAAB and Dire Dawa (HADR) but these options are much more limited at outlying airport locations. Your supervisory agent can assist in arranging rental cars, if you choose this option. GPS is recommended for all driving in Ethiopia as road signage is somewhat limited.

7. Day of departure considerations

On the day of departure crew will meet with their supervisory agent at the terminal. The supervisory agent will communicate with the ground handler and facilitate crew movement through security and out to the ramp where they’ll prepare the aircraft for departure.

8. Airport security

Security standards are high at HAAB with adequate perimeter fencing, security patrols, video surveillance and acceptable airside access control. This high level of security exists throughout the country, at all airports. Be aware, however, that airport authorities do not permit any private security personnel airside, for aircraft guard services, under any circumstances. To enter the airside ramp area crew must make arrangements via their ground handler and show crew ID and a stamped from customs and immigration gen dec. On arrival and departure to/from Ethiopia all luggage is screened with x-ray equipment.

9. Off-airport security

Ethiopia is generally a safe country and personnel security is not usually recommended for either passengers or crew. If you’re sightseeing or walking around on the streets, however, it’s advisable to have a local person with you. While off-airport security in the country is not usually a concern it’s advisable to avoid sightseeing and tourism activities close to the border of neighboring Somalia. Be aware that when using local public taxis the driver may not speak English (or your native language) and you may end up paying higher than normal charges.

10. Additional reading: Business Aircraft Ops to Ethiopia – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Be aware of the processes for fuel and obtaining services such as in-flight catering. Ethiopian authorities are diligent in ensuring security of all airports in the country. Also, be aware of transportation options when in the country and communicate with your 3rd-party provider or ground handler to determine the best options for your flight.

Later we’ll discuss customs, immigration, and quarantine for Ethiopia and their impact on your trip.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Ethiopia, contact us at or

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