Dogs, which invaded the Chileka International Airport runway on Monday, forced a Malawian Airlines aircraft to abort a take-off after the pilot sighted animals on the final lap.
The plane, a Boeing 737-700, with an undisclosed number of passengers was supposed to leave Chileka Airport at 4pm but had to delay takeoff for 45 minutes while emergency services cleared the dogs which trespassed into the runway through a broken fence.
One of the passengers, who asked for anonymity, said the near mishap caused panic among passengers on board, but the flight captain assured them of their safety.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Chileka International Airport commandant Dixy Kwatani confirmed the delayed flight but said the problem had been rectified.
But Ministry of Transport and Public Works spokesperson James Chakwera in an interview said the fence was not part of the current rehabilitation works being carried out at the airport.
“The fence is supposed to be included in a different project under the European Investment Bank [EIB] funded project. Hopefully, by early 2019, it should roll out,” he said.
Chileka International Airport has for the past years been undergoing a facelift whose works were supposed to be finalised by last October but the deadline was missed.