Chileka Airport fire-engine faulty


The breaking down of a fire engine at Chileka International Airport on Monday forced some Airlines to land at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, inconveniencing the travelling community.

The Daily Times understands that for the airport to be able to operate in a higher category, it uses two fire-tenders (engines), but for quite some time, one of them has been grounded.

This forced government to use a fire-engine from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to maintain the airport’s capacity.


It is further understood that the MDF fire-engine also broke down.

According to sources, the first to be affected was Kenya Airways plane: “People who were supposed to land at Chileka International Airport landed at KIA. A coach was hired to take them to Blantyre. We saw the people boarding it here.”

In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Transport spokesperson James Chakwera, explained that not all operations were suspended.


“We have a fire-tender, which is there and in order. But it has some limitations. Because of the limitations the airport can be moved to a lower category. We, therefore, use two fire-tenders,” Chakwera said.

He confirmed that the Airport relied on an engine from MDF.

“When the MDF fire-tender broke down, we were back to a lower category, operating with only one fire-tender. But the MDF fire-tender was repaired last night (Monday) and today (yesterday) normal operations have resumed,” Chakwera said.

He, however, said the Ministry is currently repairing the fire-engine which broke down before they started using the MDF one.

Chakwera also said when they are in such a situation airlines are notified.

“When we have such problems, airlines are notified in time so that they make proper arrangements for their passengers,” he said

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