(CNN) – The Ethiopian Airlines plane landed incorrectly at an unopened airport still under construction in Zambia.
The flight, which is a cargo service that traveled from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and headed for Ndola, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, instead landed on Sunday at Zambia’s new Copperbelt International Airport, which was not yet operational, the airline said in a statement.
Flight – ET 3891 – landed safely in the new airport, Ethiopian Airlines added.
Copperbelt International Airport is located approximately 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport.
Transport secretary Misheck Lungu told AFP the pilot had landed at an unopened airport. “With a mistake”
“When he was about to land he was communicating with radar and they told him, ‘We can’t see you,’ ‘Lungu told AFP.
“So he took his gaze while he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction.”
The Ethiopian Airlines said: “Although details of the incident are under investigation, coordinated with the Zambian aviation authorities, the incident will be investigated. But no NOTAM (pilot notice) has been issued regarding the construction of a new airport with the same runway orientation as Existing and the proximity between the two airports may have contributed to the incident. ”
“As always, Ethiopian Airlines takes aviation safety very seriously and considers this airline a top priority and will take all necessary corrective and preventive measures based on the results of the investigation,” the statement said. supplement
The new airport is scheduled for completion in October 2020, according to Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL), which manages the country’s international airport. But construction has been delayed due to the outbreak and the facility is scheduled for completion this year, ZACL told CNN.
The new airport where the planes landed already had a complete runway, ZACL added, and as of last month, at least 88 percent of the remaining facilities had been completed.
ZACL said the new airport, initially known as Copperbelt International Airport, was slated to take the name of the existing airport, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, where it was reverted to the original international airport name. Ndola and no longer operate for commercial flights.