The Department of Civil Aviation in Chipata says the Chipata Airport Runway needs to be expanded from the current 1.470 kilometers to 2. 5 kilometers.
Civil Aviation Officer in Charge, Hector Chimbwe told Breeze News that this is in order for the runway to accommodate heavy planes.
And Mr. Chimbwe says the decision by government to relocate people from M’zabwela Compound to pave way for the expansion of the airport is a welcome move because it is an illegal settlement.
He says his department has been receiving complaints from pilots on why they allow people to be moving around the runway anyhow and it has been difficult to control them.
Meanwhile, squatters staying in M’zabwela Compound, which on land belonging to the Chipata Airport say they are ready to be relocated to a new area which government will identify for them.
Speaking on behalf of the others, Rosemary Banda Miti who has been in the area for 35 years told Breeze News that the residents have welcomed the decision by government to expand the airport and relocate them because they do not have any legal documents for the area.
Mrs. Miti however, appealed to government to ensure that they give them money to build new houses where ever they will be relocated.