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Ethiopian Airlines Plane Mistakenly Lands At Airport Under Construction

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In Zambia, an Ethiopian Airlines plane lands on the runway of an airport under construction 15km from its arrival airport.
In Zambia, an Ethiopian Airlines plane lands on the runway of an airport under construction 15km from its arrival airport.

An Ethiopian national carrier cargo plane accidentally landed in northern Zambia at an airport still under construction. The right airport was 15 km away.

The cargo plane of the Ethiopian airlines landed on Sunday, by mistake, in northern Zambia, at an airport still under construction. Its final destination was actually 15 km away.

According to the Zambian Ministry of Transport, the aircraft landed “by mistake” on the runway of the future Copperbelt International Airport, in Zambia’s northern Copperbelt province, when it was due to land at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport. The opening of Copperbelt International Airport which was initially scheduled for mid-2020 was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time of landing, the pilot was in communication with the air traffic controllers who told him “we cannot see you”, explained the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Misheck Lungu. “He, therefore, landed on sight, since he was not guided and landed on an airport still under construction.”

The pilot was able to re-take off the plane to its initially planned destination. As incredible as it is, this landing caused no damage. Investigators have yet to write a “full report” on this incident. Ethiopian Airlines, for its part, has yet to provide an explanation.