Biggest airport flop ever? (FDSK)

The airport in Swaziland (I know you have probably never heard of it but bear with me) probably is the biggest failure of an airport ever…

Found out about this when I was planning to fly to Swaziland as part of flying in Africa, so I looked up the main airport there, and found fairly simply that it was FDSK, the airport is so under used it isn’t eaven in IF (may want to get on that @Kilt_McHaggis) so right now you are all probably assuming this is some sort of lame reagonal airport but no…

FDSK or King Mswati III International Airport was a $150mil undertaking by the Swazi government, and built to handle 360,000+ passengers a year. So not massive, but pretty sizable. Only problem Swaziland is a pretty small country, and not really a tourist destination… Currently no joke it sees a daily flight to Johannesburg. (You can check FR24 your self, no joke) The airport was built to replace the existing reagonal sized one currently there. Still it is only a one runway small terminal airport but still, seems like the King had a bunch of money and wanted an airport named after him…

The airport it’s self...


The king it is named after...

That is him next to Obama…


I would get rid of that joke at the end 😂, might cause a fuss, however I feel like the airport named after him was very well deserved. That was one of his $1bn millennium project investment initiative to enhance Swaziland’s position as a tourist destination, serving as a tourism gateway to Swaziland’s game parks, Victoria Falls, Maputo, the Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal game reserves… I feel however the airport doesn’t run as smooth as it operates flights out, this has a pretty unique history


Ya I see what you are saying, but when they only have one flight it seems like you would want to make things the tourist want before you make a way for them to get there…


There is however an A340-300 on the ground right now.


Really? I did not see it, what airline?

At least it sees flights, remember the airport from Top Gear?

1.1 billion euros to build, lasting for 3 years before closing.

Mirabel could also be considered a bit of a failure, but at least it’s still up and running, albeit for cargo flights only.

There’s one arrival on FR24 4 days ago, are you talking about that? I can’t see the flight as I don’t have a subscription, but it says “on ground” so I assume you’re referring to it.


It’s the king’s private airplane

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Probaly operated by Airlink or SA Express. Airlink operates to all these different destinations… Having more than one wife isn’t unusual in Africa, the previous president of South Africa had about 5-6, can’t remember exactly. Swaziland is a nice country, geographical wise, and has part of the Drackensburg in it. Highly recommend it. Coming from a South African. Back to the airport,

I believe this may be part of a bigger plan to increase the tourism to the country, as you said it isn’t a big country for tourism. If your coming to Africa, PM and I can recommend some places! Just tell me where you going.

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If there is one airport that can compete with this at being “the biggest flop ever,” it is surely Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It’s been over six years since the airport was supposed to have opened, and it’s nowhere close to being finished any time soon! Countless delays, mostly arising from poor planning, have pushed the opening date back several times over the past few years. I would highly recommend reading the full article:

However, if you don’t have to time to read everything in the article, here’s an excerpt detailing some of the numerous issues so far.

  • 90,000 metres of cables were incorrectly installed
  • 4,000 doors were incorrectly numbered (surely an airport wouldn’t even have this many doors?)
  • Several escalators were too short
  • There still aren’t enough check-in desks
  • FBB planned to have hundreds of nightclub bouncers stationed around the airport 24 hours a day to sound alarms manually and open doors to exhaust smoke given the automated systems could not do so
  • The airport will need to be extended as soon as it eventually opens to keep up with demand
  • 3,000 smoke detectors went missing
  • 750 display screens that were switched on 6 years ago in readiness for the first opening date have already reached the end of their lives and need to be replaced before the airport is even open
  • Thousands of light bulbs run non-stop because officials can’t work out how to turn them off
  • Hundreds of freshly planted trees had to be chopped down because they were the wrong type
  • Every day, an empty train goes five miles to the unfinished airport to stop the tracks from getting rusty
  • The man who filed a claim for 60 million dollars in damages suffered by Air Berlin due to the continued postponed opening in 2012, Hartmut Mehdorn, who described the airport as “a huge embarrassment for Berlin, and the whole world is laughing at us now,” then went on to become the CEO of FBB
  • Willy Brandt’s family have requested his name be removed from the airport, because they do not want his name to be associated with such a disaster
  • Flight paths and sound protection zones were incorrectly calculated
  • The emergency line to the fire department was faulty
  • The airport’s roof was twice the authorised weight

No, no, I am not nessarly criticizing the country, I did a project on them in 6th grade and it looks like a really nice place I was just saying that it seem like a considerable less than intended traffic to this airport. Honestly I am more curious why since it seems like a super nice place…

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Corruption more than likely, and more than less people probaly don’t even know about the country. But certain countries do have ties with Swaziland, like Kuwait.

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Actually I will probably fly there again, there reagonal airport is in the game, I mean I did stop an A340 there yesterday (Stopped is a relative term here 😂)

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Swaziland has a new name,

Kingdom of eSwatini. Apparently he referred to Swaziland as the new name in the UN and all that lovely stuff.


That Swazi king is something else…


Victoria Falls? Are you sure? That’s in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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