East London Airport (ELS) is a small, but busy airport serving the city of East London, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The airport accommodates 20 to 30 flights a day and serves airlines such as 1Time, South African Airways, South African Express, and Airlink. The airport is an important link in the country’s cargo chain and economy. The main terminal building features a variety of restaurant and shops, as well as banking facilities, car rental outlets, a chapel, and prayer rooms.
The airport began in 1927 when Lieutenant Colonel Alistair Miller asked the East London town council to help create a municipal aerodrome at Woodbrook. Passenger flights were then offered in two de Havilland Moth planes on Saturday afternoons and all day on Sundays, depending on the weather. Flights for weekdays required special arrangement.
In 1944, a new airport was built at Collondale, about 2km to the west of the current terminal building. The airport was moved again in 1965 to its present site, 9km west of the city centre. Construction of the terminal buildings were completed in 1966 and the airport was named after Minister of Transport, Ben Schoeman. East London Airport was finally renamed to its current name in 1994 and has undergone major alterations and management changes.