Over 20 families that are squatting at Chipata Airport premises will be relocated in order to pave way for expansion of the runway.
Ministry of Transport and Communication, Permanent Secretary Misheck Lungu who inspected the airport premises says there will be need to relocate the squatters in order to expand the runway and make the airport attractive to aircraft operators.
Mr. Lungu observed that Chipata airport has a short runway and can only accommodate small planes.
He says most operators use Mfuwe international Airport due to the size of Chipata Airport runway, adding that government intends to upgrade Chipata and make it economically viable.
Mr. Lungu stated that Government will first secure the airport premises by fencing it before expanding the runway.
He observed that people wonder about on the Chipata Airport runway at any time, a situation which he says is unacceptable as the runway should not be open to anyone.
And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says authorities have already started sensitizing the squatters on the need to relocate.
He stated that squatters will soon be served with eviction notices adding that those willing to be settled by
government will be relocated to a resettlement scheme.
Currently, economic planes do not carry out business at Chipata Airport as the runway is not long enough to accommodate big aircrafts.