A Malawian Airlines aircraft was this week forced to abandon take-off at Blantyre-Chileka International Airport after pilot sighted dogs on the final lap on the runway.
A Boeing 737 700 plane looked fairly stable as it made the approach to final lap on the runway but as it was about to make a final lap the pilot got alert of the dogs which trespassed into the runway through a broken fence and aborted the take off.
The pilot felt the dogs are not dangerous but could have been inconvenient for the take-off.
Nervous fliers were in panic mode but the cabin crew assured them of their safety.
The plane was scheduled to leave Chileka Airport at 4PM but had to delay for 45 minutes for airport officials to clear the dogs.
Chileka Airport commandant Dixy Kwatani confirmed the development, saying the plane was later cleared for departure.
Kwatani said the safety of passengers and crew is of utmost importance and would not be compromised.
But Chileka Airport has been facing a lot of problems including a fire engine crisis as its only engine develops faults almost every week because it is old.
According to civil aviation requirements, a plane cannot depart or land at the airport without a functional fire engine, the development has compelled the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to use Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Blantyre City Council (BCC) engines.
Ministry of Transport and Public Works spokesperson James Chakwera confirmed that the only fire engine at the airport develops faults regularly as the machine is old.
Chakwera said government is in the process of procuring new fire engines for both Chileka and Kamuzu International Airport through developmental partners- estimated at about K300 million per fire engineFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :