ZAMBIA CONTINUES TO FLY HIGH
The number of young Zambian pilots donning on their wings and soaring to greater heights seems to be rising. This week, Zambia has been introduced to the youngest male commercial pilot at Proflight, Kalenga Kamwendo, who has just clocked an impressive 1000 hours of flying aged only 21.
He joins the list of other rising stars such as Besa Mumba who, in 2016, became the youngest female commercial pilot at Proflight then aged 19.
One thing that surely could be said about achievements by these youngsters is that Zambia is ready to fly to higher heights just as its eagle symbol on the flag.
These positive developments are coming at a time, Zambia, under President Edgar Lungu’s administration, escalates the return of Zambia Airways, the national airline.
During the 1970s and 80s, Zambia was known on the African continent as one the best destinations for training of pilots as the Zambia Air Services Institute, ZASTI, thrived. In addition to those trained by Zambia Air Force, the country produced some of the best pilots in the world the majority of whom went to work in different parts of the world when the country closed down its own national carrier.
But the country’s fortunes in the aviation sector are changing as President Lungu, amid “doubting Thomases” takes, once again, a bold decision to return the country to the skies and reclaim its place among the community of flying nations.
Under his government, the nation is building a new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, which should handle thousands of customers per year in addition to accommodating some of the largest commercial carriers on the market. Several other airports are being built and old ones undergoing refurbishment in line with national development aspirations and global trends in the aviation industry.