Artist impression of the Copperbelt International Airport
Artist impression of the Copperbelt International Airport

Initial works for the construction of the $522 million Copperbelt International Airport in Ndola have started following the contractor Avic International having moved on site a few weeks ago.

So far, the Chinese firm has built dormitories for its workers and leveled the ground where various airport facilities are to be constructed.

A check by a ZNBC News crew found hundreds of local residents who have been employed by Avic International, grading roads and making building blocks at the site.

And Avic International Senior Consultant Lei Yingqi says full construction works are being delayed by over 4-hundred villagers who are refusing to vacate the airport site.

Speaking when he call on Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga, Mr Lei said there was need for the settlers to be relocated so that Avic International can proceed with the project.

Mr Lei revealed that thousands of local residents will be employed while dozens of local contractors will be subcontracted by the Chinese firm in the three year period it will be constructing the ultra modern airport.

Meanwhile, Mr Kamanga says a lot of progress has been made in relocating the 496 settlers in the area.

The Provincial Permanent Secretary says his officers are currently on the ground finalizing relocation procedures before they can be taken to where government has found land for them.

Mr Kamanga says the airport is expected to boost a lot of businesses and make Zambia a regional hub for air transport.

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75 COMMENTS

  1. Meanwhile poverty levels are up. People struggling to eat 2 meals a day. And their priority is a airport. Tell me how many Zambians fly. Why did British airways stop direct flight?

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    • I leave overseas and only have one meal. This is normal in Aussie because of working cycles. People who are hellbent on eating are generally lazy.

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    • When the airport start operating, those people who live near this area, who can not afford 2 meals per day will be employed and they will start providing 3 meals per day to their loved ones. The government will also get more revenue. Its simple for those who don’t have brainwashed minds.

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    • The problem with sycophants like @NEZ is that they think in REVERSE. They think people should have three square meals without planting and toiling the fields first, people should have world class education without investments in education in terms of infrastructure and human capital, Govt should provide three square meals before people can engage in entrepreneurship and commerce to provide for their families, Govt should provide Jobs out of thin air like it is magic without such capital/economic investments like Airports, roads, rail lines, power/electricity generation, extra. It is no wonder they even come up with such silly quips as “YOU CAN’T EAT ROADS.” That’s how ridiculous and directionless the so called OPPOSITION in Zambia sounds nowadays!

      @NEZ touts himself as a world…

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    • continue:

      … traveler. And you would expect someone who has traveled to have a better sense of how ECONOMIC VITALITY airports bring to an area or Country in which such world class infrastructure is built. So it is shocking to see characters like you @NEZ sound so UNINFORMED and RIDICULOUSLY SHALLOW about such issues. ECONOMIES THAT CAN ELIMINATE POVERTY IN COUNTRY ARE BUILT and NOT WISHED or PROCLAIMED.

      If you want people to eat three square meals per day, Zambians got work and sacrifice first to build the economy/infrastructure—GOOD “MILILE” will easily follow after that. Once upon a time, the Americans, the British, Japans the French, the Germans, you name them, they all did the same in order to progress economically. And more recently it is the Chines, who are now helping…

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      … us transform Zambia. @NEZ, that’s how things work. You don’t just sit on your lazy a$$es, mouthing off blaming Govt for everything and expect to have three meals a day. Please STOP BULL-SH!TING all the time and be constructive for once!

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    • YES TRUE PRIORITYS ARE WRONG. WHY NOT DO UP THE ROAD TO THE LUSAKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FIRST. SO EMBARRASING NTHAT ARE COUNTRY OF 51 YEARS OF INDEPENCE CAN HAVE A ROAD LIKE THAT ONE. ALL FIRST TIME VISITORS RIDE ON THAT ROAD. FINISH ONE PROJECT PROPERLY BEFORE JUMPING TO THE NEXT. OF WHAT USE IS AN AIRPORT IN KITWE WHEN WE HAVE ONE IN NDOLA AND LIVINGSTONE.

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    • HH ovalhead I grew up eating two meals a day on the copper belt. Now I have graduated to one meal a day. You don’t need much food on earth

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    • Boma is not there to feed you. Lazyness ni fertiliser yamachushi…..Try doing nothing in a western democracy, you will have 0 meals per day. Nobody in life will ever give you anything.

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    • You want to fly before you can walk. Those with sense will get that proverb.

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    • Now my name is being copied again. Lusaka times i need clarification, Some peolpe write rubbish on this blog and how come now we are sharing the same names? I have seen another shooterz logged in on a south african flag. Admin guidance please

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    • @ hh oval indeed you “leave” abroad you dumb chap. As you have said people choose to eat that way but what am saying is that in Zambia it is not down to choice but rather poverty. So if you feel pf are doing well from as far as aussie why have u become a economic refugee. Why not come back Zambia and enjoy nothing under pf

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    • @ shooters it is not like you add any value to this blog. I would rather read your clones comments. BTW have you heard of copy right. Why shouldn’t anyone be allowed to use your so called name as if you have copyrights. Stop crying like a baby kikiki

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    • @NEZ If you call your contributions value then there is no value at all. I don’t have to be UPND for you to see value in my contributions. I don’t know how old you are but i believe you are a misplaced soul. Don’t compare LT to ZWD where everybody has to be Tonga for his/her view to be published. The little ++ i get are enough for me to realize that there is sense in what i contribute. I dont want to fall into your trap of HATE which defines who you are by the way.

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    • Relocating people is not as easy as just finding another site to move to as much more is lost in value attached to having been settled in particular surroundings and interactions built over the years! Government has always moves people to new settlements under the pretext of development yet nothing is talked about the effects on families thus disturbed and their adaptation to new surroundings because at no time does one hear mention of compensation for the inconvenience caused!

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    • @1 BA NEZ, HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE LOW OR LOWER POVERTY LEVELS? IS IT NOT BY CREATING INDUSTRIES WHERE CITIZENS ARE EMPLOYED TO START EARNING A LIVING IN ORDER TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES, RELATIVES AND FRIENDS? SO, IN YOUR UPND THERE WILL BE NO CREATION OF NEW INDUSTRIE OR IMPROVING EXISTING ONES? YOU GUYS- THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T WIN AND MAYBE WILL NEVER WIN ELECTIONS. YOU MEAN ALL YOU UPNDs ARE TOO EDUCATED TO EVEN THINK PROPERLY? IF YOU ARE THAT EDUCATED AS YOU CLAIM IN UPND AND YOU DON’T KNOW THAT THIS INFRASTRUCTURE IS GOING TO CREATE THOUSANDS OF DIRECT AND INDIRECT JOBS THEN UPND IS JUST A BUNCH OF HIGHLY EDUCATED BRAINLESS FUULS. NDIMWE MASILU.

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    • It will continue operating but serving domestic flights only. As you can see the new one is international airport.

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    • @HH OVAL HEAD, Simon Kapwepwe is also international airport. Maybe once the Copperbelt international airport is complete, Kapwepwe will no longer handle international flights unless in emergence landings.

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    • SMK alias NLA airport is an eyesore! It’s inadequate in terms of infrastructure and facililes. 1 security scanner entire airport and the arrivals lounge is a disaster. The new airport s really long overdue for the Copperbelt region.

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    • NEZ IS MIOPIC JUST LIKE HIS FATHER HH. This country can not depend on people who just want to have 3 meals per day without working for these meals. NEZ if you can afford please provide these meals to those who can not afford.

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    • It will revert to original use…. makeshift colonial military airport. Better given to Lazy dranks at ZAF to run it down to obsolescence….

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  2. That is good I just love progress not inertia.
    Great leaders leave legacy behind to be remembered not distraction.
    Meanwhile we keep on talking great news to hear.

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    • With a Chinese construction company, unlike many others, one can at least hope to be able to look at a completed project. TAZARA Railways is one case in point, the recently completed bridge across the Zambezi, from Mongu to Kalabo, is another. What a story that was, for those other companies that had been contracted to put up the Mongu – Kalabo bridge! What a joke it had become. Today, the Mongu – Kalabo bridge is no longer a joke, it’s reality, thanks to a Chinese construction company that made the difference. What about our two soccer stadiums – Levy Mwanawasa and Heroes? Aren’t we proud of them, at least as of now?

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    • While you may disagree with my view above, I must insist that, with a Chinese Construction company, I see a consistent, tiny semblance of sanity. We have Zambian engineers managing world class projects around the world. Surprisingly, these same people, seem to lose that instinct when made to manage a similar or even smaller project on home soil.

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    • @Meimatungu – I dont think you understand what Global Company expects in return before the take up a contract in a banana republic like Zambia…Private Global Companies have an obligation to their shareholders, govts, banks, media…they would be in trouble with the haphazard corrupt tender procurement routes employed in Zambia. You proudly talk of historical projects which you didn’t even put a single ngwee in…do you know that Tazara was largest single foreign-aid project undertaken by China to stop us depending on White ruled RSA. Today you are back again with your president depending on them without shame. Even the studia one you didnt even pay for it and today you can not even maintain them by the current state of the turf. Go to China and ask you built or designed some of those…

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    • Today you are back again with your president depending on them without shame. Even the stadia one you didnt even pay for it and today you can not even maintain them by the current state of the turf. Go to China and ask you built or designed some of those Olympic stadia.
      Wake up from your folly!!!

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    • Did we not see Eurobond Money fly out of bank accounts at classic speed, to destinations yet to be determined, when Zambians were appointed to oversee/manage the recent ambitious refurbishment of Zambia Railways? Today, those Zambians managers/engineers who supervised the project are living lavishly elsewhere, while Zambia Railways remains an eyesore. The same can be said of the Eurobond Money that ZESCO received. Meanwhile, Zambians must now have to figure out how and where to find the money to pay back those venture capitalist who happen to speak a language other than “muchekeleniko.” How fair is that?

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    • @7.3 Jay Jay

      Jay Jay, Chinese companies have a history in Zambia – projects undertaken and completed. There is one other reason why China is winning the hearts of many other countries, including, recently, Donald Trump’s United States of America – China has the money. They don’t just build and demand to be paid, they finance and are softer on the price.

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    • Jay Jay, you always sound knowledgeable just about everything. Gibberish or not, what I am saying has nothing to do with “understand how construction works.” Show me a construction show-piece in Zambia by the Americans, the British etc.?

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    • @Meimatungu – I can show Kariba Dam, I can pinpoint landmarks dotted across the country BUT what good is that when all these projects were built by colonists …you seem not to understand why PF opts for the Chines to construct nothing to do with historical links but all to do with procurement and tender routes chosen and funding via EXIM Bank loans. You know what EXIM Bank loan is its more like a Shoprite Voucher you want money from me for food to feed your family and I tell you come to my shop get whatever you want but pay back with interest. Lastly the Chines turn a blind eye to corruption..that’s why they like them..a Global Company would not pick a proxy Kambwili subcontractor to work with them with no track record even to sign post roads.

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    • @7.9 Jay Jay

      They built Kariba Dam for themselves, just so they could generate electricity to enable them effectively exploit our natural resources. They achieved their objective.

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    • And why do you think the Chines are eager to assist in getting TAZARA moving …you think its because they like you?

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  3. Why the Chinese one asks? Listen to this statement to understand why.

    “The Chinese have poured more mortar (concrete/cement) in Africa in only 10years more than America and the West put together have done in the last 50years!”

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    • And when the Chinese come to collect this money when its due you will pay them back with your grand children and land.

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    • And the British, Euro and SA built roads are built to last the Chinese roads are rubbish – you get what you pay for.

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    • No why should politicians grab all the credit? Even the Levywanawasa stadium is misnamed. It should be named Zoom Ndjlovu or Godfrey Chitalu stadium two great sportsmen whom we haven’t commemorated

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    • Name it FTJ Airport. Why is nothing named after him? Yes he did some things wrong but he opened our people’s eyes to enterprise and self sufficiency! He was a strong believer in the importance of a free market economy where Government has no business in business. Sadly, PF has reversed everything and taken us back to UNIP days! How sad!

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    • All airports should be place names in Zambia like they use to be how do tourist know where to go, Copperbelt a/p is a good name.

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  4. This is foolishness at the highest level or another gimmick of diverting funds that are supposed to develop other parts of the country. This airport should have been located in NW or Western province. Why is this investment more than KK international when Lusaka is the most populous city in the country? This whole project stinks of corruption!

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  5. Yamba Yamba tell this backward muntus. We can not eat 3 meals day if we all continue to depend on Government hand outs, that includes salaries. Let those with extra ideas do other things that can get other people on board. Who even told you ECL is small minded to just think of eating. He has shown he has better plans than just eating! Lyonse kulanda ati mulya once. May be its just your laziness. Even when you do not know were funds are sourced or what agreement is in place, you think political….worse taking over Government without plans but to eat. Let us be developmental. Leka babombe abamwene kuntashi. Remain campaigning! Gvt go go beautify the country. This are the same people when they go abroad still insult that we do not have what they found there. Okoo!

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  6. this is a great development ,Ndola airport was built as a RAF base and has never been improved to international standards. This new airport will bring with more jobs through support services such as ground handling,security,cleaning food and restaurants. The old Airport will be demolished I think and land given for development of Offices, hotels etc. The squatters need to understand the are not adding value but simply cutting trees for firewood and wasting economically viable land. The should accept where Government will take them and in the end they too can find jobs, after all the are on the same land illegally .

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    • Did they get title deeds for their properties? The government can help but not obliged to babysit them. Unfortunately, that is the law.

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  7. What are current tourist numbers to ndola, what are projected numbers for copperbelt. Compare those against cost of building and period of time we get a return on our capital outlay. Then if international tourists come to ndola we have a chinese car wash on the righyhand side next to Mwanawasa stadium. Thought that was a to be stopped.
    Collective thinking your thoughts on development for ndola airport has to be prefaced by population and disposable income that can be spent in your proposed developments. We dont have population or sufficient pipo with disposabke income to support such development.
    We need to empower our poor to a realistic level of living before we assume we can become assimilar to a western economy. Its good to have plans, children crawl, walk then run so must we…

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  8. It is wrong to give the abject poor a false hope that they can get out of their poverty by the building of an international airport.
    What tourist or businesse opportunities are available in the copperbelt.

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  9. Too many UPNDonkeys making ridiculous comments as usual. Why don’t you make yourselves useful for a change by going to sing for your boss at Chimbokaila instead? The guy must be lonely, sorry not exactly, he has fellow inmates tosocalise with….kikikikiki…..donkeys

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  10. Terrible if you are reffering to me read the article and find the politicsl reference. All my blogs are objective so tba we progress as a nation. You have been waiting for me to resurface. Nothing economically worth commenting on. Paraochial politics achieve nothing ,it is actually retrogressive ,as an intellectual such as youself would know. Good to see the donkey was worried for you for a while.kikikiik

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  11. This will still NOT make Zambia a transport hub like Jo’burg and Nairobi since we lack qualities of internal economic dynamism ,business hub ,sizeable middle class and top tourist destination.

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  12. I have read that the project is a $395 million, and now I see $522 million. Which is which?

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  13. The cpuntry needs more of such investments. Those who still think the government should feed them everyday must be napping. Vamahara vinatha nikale mwa Welensiki. They should wake up from their slumber; they must stop believing party leaders who promise them free food…

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  14. No blankets for patients ku Uth… If you react to plastic mattress better carry with you ka blanket…

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  15. Excellent. Now we are Roving. Progress. It’s a surprise the Copperbelt never had this facility, considering copper has been the backbone of our economic growth and they contributed supremely in over 50 years. It’s time that region saw some infrastructural developments. Good stuff.

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  16. The President and his team are pointing at the work and the “other guy” with his cadres are is pointing at his destruction they are doing to the nation! Go Zambia, go! We are bigger than the few regional hate group! His agenda will not work! It good that soon he will be history!

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  17. … and NEZ! If the same project was announced by a “Tonga” they could be celebrating! Wow! These guys are so tribal!

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    • You are the only one making tribal assumptions because you have failed to come up with a comment of substance to my assertions. I would also say the same by stating that as long as the project is announced by an easterner you will always see nothing wrong with it even when the timing and priorities are wrong. Do you now see how f00IIsh you seem

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  18. How I wish we did not have these two useless non productive parties in Zambia, PF and UPND. They waste their time arguing, one has failed to perform as a party in government and even if the other one was going to come into power, nothing would happen

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