NATIONAL Airports Corporation (NAC) has engaged AVIC International to conduct feasibility studies at the site earmarked for the construction of a modern international airport in Ndola.
Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport manager Joseph Mumbi said the studies would be carried out for a period of 21 days to ascertain the suitability of aviation operations in the area.
The modern airport would be built in Chichele area near the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway.
Mr Mumbi said this yesterday when Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Howard Sikwela and Forestry Department officials toured the site in preparation for the works expected to commence next year.
“We have engaged AVIC international to carry out feasibility studies in readiness for the construction works expected to start in March next year. The demographic survey is also progressing well and so far only 14 days are remaining for a full report to be ready,” he said.
Mr Mumbi said the airport would have modern facilities that would meet international standards.
He said about 700 families would be moved to pave the way for the construction works, and that those with documents would be compensated before being evicted.
Reverend Sikwela said he was satisfied with the progress on the feasibility study.
He urged people to ensure that they got legal documentation when acquiring land.
He said those who would be found without proper documents would not be compensated.
Rev Sikwela said the initial works would start while NAC engaged settlers who would be affected.
“I am urging Zambians to be very careful when acquiring land. Let us not settle on land when we have not been given documentation. I know other people have cultivated but we need extra land for expansion purposes after the construction of the airport.
“While NAC officials are negotiating with settlers, initial works can commence on the other side where there are no settlers,” he said.
President Lungu said last month that the airport, which would gobble up US$522 million, would create 3,000 jobs at construction stage.