ADDIS ABABA – An Ethiopian Airlines B-737-800F cargo plane flying into Zambia accidentally landed at an airport that is still under construction, according to a Zambian official and the Airlines.
The plane landed on Sunday at the uncompleted airport in Zambia’s northern Copperbelt province, which is currently served by the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport around 15 kilometers away.
Zambia’s transport ministry’s permanent secretary Misheck Lungu said the pilot had landed at the future Copperbelt International Airport “by error”.
“When he was about to land he was communicating with the radar and they told him, ‘We can’t see you’,” he told AFP news agency. “So he used his sight as he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction.”
The pilot later flew the plane to its original destination.
Zambian authorities said investigators would issue a “comprehensive report” on the incident.
– ‘Measures will be taken’ –
Ethiopian airlines confirmed that the incident involving its B-737-800F plane on a cargo service to Zambia has happened on Sunday.
“Although details of the incident are under investigation in coordination with the Zambian Aeronautical Authorities, the fact that there was no NOTAM issued regarding the construction of the new airport which has the same runway heading orientation with the existing one and the close proximity between the two airports may have contributed to the incident,” Ethiopian said in a statement issued on Monday.
“As always Ethiopian Airlines takes flight safety very seriously and treats it as the top most priority and accordingly it will take all necessary corrective and preventive measures in line with the findings of the investigation,” the airlines added.
[Featured Image File/Ethiopian]