LUSAKA, 5 April 2021 – An Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane flying into Zambia accidentally landed at an airport that is still under construction, a government official said Monday.
The plane landed Sunday in Zambia’s northern Copperbelt province, whereas it was trying to land on the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport located around nine miles (15km) away.
Zambia’s transport ministry’s permanent secretary, Misheck Lungu, said the pilot 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,” Lungu told the French News Agency.
“So he used his sight as he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction”.
Lungu added that no damage resulted to the aircraft, explaining that a probe has been opened and a comprehensive report will be published on the incident.
Zambian officials said the pilot later flew the plane to the original destination.
The Chinese-built Copperbelt International Airport, where the cargo plane mistakenly torched down, is not scheduled to open until sometime in mid-2022.