Government has repossessed the operation of Kamowa Airstrip in Luangwa District that was being run by a civilian company Yexley Zambia Limited.
This follows the expiry of the license issued to Yexley in June 2011, after the Ministry of Defence that had been operating the Airstrip from the 1970s during the liberation struggle of neighboring countries could no longer use the airstrip.
Defence Minister Edgar Lungu has told a media briefing this morning that Yexley’s license to operate the airstrip came to end on 31st December 2011.
Mr. Lungu says arising from non renewal of the license, Yexley sublet the operation of the airstrip to third parties an act that was also a violation of the regulation of civil aviation as it did not consult the Department of Civil Aviation before subletting the airstrip.
He says this has led to the recommendation that Luangwa District Council takes full responsibility of management and operations of the airstrip and should apply for a license from the Department of Civil Aviation.
Mr Lungu adds that the other recommendation is that due to the sensitivity of the area, no private tour operator should be issued with an operating license to manage the airstrip.
The status and existence of the Kamowa Airstrip in Luangwa District can be traced back to the year 1954 during the time it was being managed by the Council before the Ministry of Defence took charge of its operations in the late 1970s.