Chileka Airport’s main runway to be closed for two months


The main runway at Chileka International Airport will be closed for maintenance works this month.

The rehabilitation of the runway will be carried out from April 24 to July 24 and will affect flights at the airport.

Runway at Chileka to be renovated

Airport commandant Mr Kwatani confirmed the development in a statement Thursday saying resources are available to ensure that the activities are completed in less than 90 days.

Kwatani added small airplanes leaving or landing at the airport will use a secondary runway during the period.

Ministry of Transport and Public Works spokesperson James Chakwera told the local media that big aircrafts will be diverted to Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.

“The ones to be affected are aircrafts operated by Malawian Airlines, Kenyan Airlines and South African Airways. All those will be affected because they cannot use the auxiliary runway, so, by the time we are closed, their flights will be directed to Lilongwe at Kamuzu International Airport,” he said.

The development comes months after South African Airways (SAA) suspended its flights to Chileka Airport.

This followed non-compliance findings made by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) after its inspection at the Malawian airport.

SACAA said the authority had found serious safety risks at the airport during an annual inspection.

The issues included the airport’s perimeter fence which was vandalised and fell short of set international standards.

SCAA also established that Chileka has no dependable fire engine and ambulance due to a lack of maintenance.

“This state of affairs may have catastrophic consequences for the airline’s passengers and crew in an event that one of their aircraft or surrounding facilities caught fire because as things stand, that would mean that emergency support services would not be instantly available as prescribed by civil aviation regulations worldwide,” read SACAA’s statement.