The Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) is the only airport located on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. The airport opened in 1950 and was initially known as Lamentin International Airport, named after the suburb where it is located just outside the capital of Fort-de-France. In 2007, the airport was renamed in honor of the poet and politician Aimé Césaire, a national icon. The airport is easily navigable with only one runway (so it is difficult to get lost finding your gate). Though FDF is a hub for passengers flying throughout the West Indies, the only direct flights to the U.S. are through Miami. (Direct flights to Canada can be accessed via Montreal, and Paris and Brussels are the final destinations for travelers to Europe). Read on for the best ways to spend your layover and the top places to grab a cocktail pre-flight, as well as air-travel safety precautions for traveling to Martinique.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
- Airport Code: FDF
- Location: BP279, Le Lamentin 97285, Martinique
- Flight Tracker
- Map: https://www.martinique.aeroport.fr/plan-de-laerogare/
- Phone: +596 596 42 19 95
Know Before You Go
The airport itself is relatively small, and there is only one terminal that is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Though the airport and its facilities are on the older side, it is nevertheless safe and clean. FDF is currently undergoing an expansion that is expected to modernize the airport and its facilities. FDF services 11 airlines, including Air Antilles, Air Belgium, Air Caraïbes, Air Canada, Air France, Air Transat, American Airlines, CorsAir, Cubana, Level, and Liat. Overseas destinations at FDF include Brussels, Miami, Montreal, and Paris. Inter-Caribbean air-lift flies to 19 Caribbean islands, including Antigua, Barbados, Cuba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, and more.
There are two public parking lots at FDF and one private parking valet service. Of the public options, the P1 car park is located near the passenger terminal and is designed for short-term visitor parking only, while the P2 is intended for long-term stays. Twenty-eight of the 1,413 spaces in the public car parks are designated for drivers with decreased mobility. The fee for reserving a one-day pass in the public lots is as low as $22 if you book in advance via Parclick. Otherwise, payment boxes are found in the passenger terminal, the sidewalk outside the terminal, the exit terminal, and the desk at the P1 car park.
Tickets, coins, bank cards, and checks are all accepted. Travelers should note not to leave any items in-sight within your car, as the airport doesn't claim any responsibility for theft or damage to the vehicle. Alternately, if you're looking for more safety and accessibility, the Park Inn is a parking valet service offering 24-hour video surveillance and security of your vehicle.
The international airport in Martinique is only 7 miles from the capital city of Fort-de-France, and no destination is more than 20 minutes from the airport, as the island is only 50 miles long and 22 miles wide. There can, however, be congestion and traffic in Fort-de-France during rush hour, so travelers should plan their journey accordingly. An international driver's license is required to rent a car, and we suggest renting from American-based dealerships to minimize any billing or mechanical miscommunications. Rental cars are available at the airport from companies such as Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz, and the road conditions are relatively good all across the island.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Though there is a bus system in Martinique, there is no route to take passengers to the airport via public transportation. Aside from renting a car, taxis are your best bet. Taxis are available in gate D's arrival area, and each cab is equipped with a taximeter. If a cab driver tells you a flat price, you are being ripped off. There are no ride-share apps in Martinique, but there is a 972 Taxi app that can be downloaded on Apple or Android to summon cabs in advance. Airport shuttles may be booked in advance or arranged privately with your hotel before you land.
Where to Eat and Drink
Order a sandwich at the Baguet Shop in the passenger terminal before you depart for your flight home, or grab a pastry at the Air Lounge Cafe. The Cafe is located in the boarding lounge, with a view of the runway. Alternately, if you're looking for cheap, fast food, then Burger King is located right next to the airport and features a drive-in option. Or, if you're looking for a refreshing treat, then check out the selections at Ice Cream Paradise, the ice cream stand is a hidden gem located beside Access Door C. Try a sorbet made from local fruits on the island!
If you're interested in sitting down and staying a little while, head to At Mamaine in the General Aviation Zone of the terminal and order some authentic Creole cuisine. If you're looking for a cocktail, sidle up to the bar at the Trois Rivieres Rum Bar, open from 12:30 until the last flight, seven days a week. And if you're interested in extending that vacation mindset, then head out to the terrace to enjoy a beer al fresco at The Hummingbird, open daily at 2:30 p.m.
Where to Shop
Shop for local refreshments at The Rhum Box—the extensive selection is sure to satisfy even the most discerning rum connoisseurs. There are also vintage posters and painted bottles available for purchase as souvenirs. Plus: All alcoholic purchases can travel with you in the cabin of the plane. (The items are sealed and left in the boarding lounge). Peruse the selection of tropical flowers at Macintosh, but be sure to inquire about delivery to your destination before purchasing. (Bouquet deliveries are only guaranteed for passengers bound for Paris).
How to Spend Your Layover
Why not spend your wait time freshening up? After all, a pedicure is a more critical indulgence while at the beach than on the city streets. Head to the Nail Bar in the boarding lounge, but be sure to allocate an hour for the service. (Though we believe in pampering yourself, a fresh pedicure is never worth the hassle of a missed flight). Or, if you're looking for a refreshing treat, then check out the selections at Ice Cream Paradise, the ice cream stand is a hidden gem located beside Access Door C. Try a sorbet made from local fruits on the island.
Take the time to peruse some local art at the permanent exhibition on display at the Art Gallery of Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport. The gallery is dedicated to Aimé Césaire, the renowned writer and politician that is the airport's namesake, and includes temporary displays of contemporary Martinician artists. Check out the slam poetry, and live music at the Music Kiosk. There is no better way to cap off a tropical vacation than with some singing and dancing. The festivities are nearly enough to transform the airport terminal's ambiance to the laid back charms of your beachside resort.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
The Wi-Fi in FDF is free of charge for all travelers. Connect to the "FREEWIFIFDF" network and register with your name and phone number (including international code) to access upon landing. There are charging stations for mobile phones located towards the center of the terminal, attached via coded locks along the wall.
Airport Tips & Facts
- The airport is named after the poet, playwright, and politician Aimé Fernand David Césaire. Born in France, Césaire relocated with his family to Fort-de-France during his childhood. He later served as mayor of the capital city before assuming his role as President of the Regional Council of Martinique from 1983 to 1988.
- FDF features two airport lounges for first or business class passengers to enjoy while waiting for their flight. The Air France Lounge is located in the main terminal, past security. The Corsair Grand Large Lounge is also available inside security in the main terminal. Both are available for booking via Lounge Buddy.
- None of the airport restaurants are open 24-hours, so visitors should prepare to eat in advance of particularly late or early morning flights.