Probably (at the time) the worst airport in the world, Ouessa, Republic of Congo, 2009

RNHEAJauMqqln3yn4oXvSxAno1_1280Probably the worst airport in the world, at the time, although there have been a few since which come close or even superseded to reach the top of the league table, however this remains strong in the memory. The little landing strip, situated in the remote north of the country on the outskirts of Ouessa a tiny town of incomplete dirt streets lined with low walled buildings, a small berth and rusting jetty which is slowly sinking into the vast river and an incongruous five-storey Congolese bank headquarters (what an earth it was doing there was never clearly explained) replete with a skin of shining tinted glass. Ouessa airport earns its award as the worst airport in the world for one simple reason…it’s not really there. Well it is there, only its wrapped in tape, sealed from the outside world. The brand new terminal building, despite being completed eight months before, has remained closed ever since due to the president having not agreed on a suitable date for the opening ceremony. Passengers are trafficked along a sunbaked runway to a small shed of wood and tin roofing which serves inadequately in all departments as departures and arrivals, fly blown butcher stall, shuttered and long-closed if ever opened bar, the local customs and police station where small sums of dirty money are exchanged for various reasons and finally as a taxi rank for the handful of cars which still work.


Author: timlewis77

Working as a sound recordist, camera operator, video editor, photographer, production manager and writer, Tim Lewis produces documentary films for a wide range of international charities, government agencies and the arts sector. His experience as a freelancer also includes broadcast and corporate pieces, ranging from glossy celebrity portraits, small art promos and channel idents, to feature length documentaries for clients such as the BBC, Nat Geo, Discovery and Sky. His work has taken him to many difficult and challenging locations. Filming semi nomadic communities in the rainforests of Borneo, interviewing refugees on the Thai-Burma border, following civil rights campaigners through war torn Liberia and the Congo or climbing volcanoes and glaciers in Iceland. He is a co-director at Handcrafted Films Ltd. blog -

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