Amílcar Cabral International Airport (IATA: SID, ICAO: GVAC), also known as Sal International Airport, is the main international airport of Cabo Verde. The airport is named after the revolutionary leader Amílcar Cabral. It is located two km west-southwest from Espargos on Sal Island. Sal was the main hub for the national airline, TACV; now it serves as a base for carrier Cabo Verde Express. This airport was also one of NASA's locations for a facility to handle the Space Shuttle after reentering from orbit.
The first airport on Sal Island was built in 1939 by Italy, as a fuel and provisions stopping-point on routes from Europe to South America. Between 1960 and 1967 Sal was a stop of the Voo da amizade (Friendship Flight), a dedicated service between Brazil and Portugal. It was operated from 1960 to 1965 by Panair do Brasil and from 1965 to 1967 by TAP-Transportes Aéreos Portugueses and Varig.
Beginning in 1967, Sal was used as a refueling stop by South African Airways, for flights to and from Europe, since SAA was denied landing rights by most African countries due to the international boycott of apartheid. Also Aeroflot used Sal as a stop on its Il-62 services from Moscow and Budapest to Dakar and Conakry in the late 1970s. Cubana also operated Il-62s on the Havana-Sal-Luanda-Maputo route in the early 1980s, and the Havana-Sal-Bissau-Luanda route in the late 1980s. .