(CNN) — An Ethiopian Airlines airplane mistakenly landed at an unopened airport nonetheless beneath development in Zambia, the provider confirmed Monday.
The flight — a cargo service touring from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and destined for Ndola, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport — as an alternative landed Sunday at Zambia’s new Copperbelt International Airport, which has not but been inaugurated, the airline stated in a press release.
The flight — ET 3891 — made a secure touchdown within the new airport, Ethiopian Airlines added.
The Copperbelt International Airport is about 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport by automobile.
The transport ministry’s everlasting secretary Misheck Lungu advised the AFP information company that the pilot had landed on the unopened 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 advised AFP.
“So he used his sight as he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction.”
Ethiopian Airlines stated: “Although details of the incident are under investigation in coordination with the Zambian Aeronautical Authorities, the fact that there was no NOTAM (notice to airmen) 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.”
“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 assertion added.
The new airport was due for completion in October 2020, in line with Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL), which manages the nation’s worldwide airports. But development was delayed due to the pandemic, with the power due for completion this yr, ZACL advised CNN.
The new airport that the airplane landed at has a runway that’s totally full, ZACL added, and, as of final month, the remainder of the power is at the very least 88% full.
ZACL stated the brand new airport, which was initially to be named Copperbelt International Airport, is now because of undertake the title of the present one — Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport — with the unique website reverting to its authentic title of Ndola International Airport and not getting used for industrial flights.