Zambian authorities on Tuesday opened an investigation after an Ethiopian Boeing 737 aircraft mistakenly landed at an airport that is still under construction.
To the surprise of construction workers at the Copperbelt Airport in the city of Ndola, the twin-engine cargo jet touched down on the unfinished runway on Sunday.
A few moments later, another Ethiopian Boeing 737 was preparing its landing there too.
“Another Ethiopian Airlines plane, a passenger plane, actually almost landed at the same airport under construction a few hours later but went round after the pilot realised that oh no, this is a wrong airport,” Zambia’s Transport Minister Misheck Lungu told dpa on Tuesday.
The minister added that he had ordered an investigation into the incident.
According to initial findings, pilot error was not ruled out.
Copperbelt Airport is a major airport project by Zambia and China and construction has almost been completed.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, which is located nearby, is still operating.
Runways under construction or repair are usually visually marked as closed with a large white “X”.
However, it remained unclear to what extent this marking was still clearly visible from the air.