The Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport(IATA: NLA, ICAO: FLND) is an airport located in Ndola, Copperbelt Province, Zambia. It was officially known as Ndola Airport before being renamed in 2011 in honour of Simon Kapwepwe, the nation’s former vice president.
It is located adjacent to the Dag Hammarskjöld Crash Site Memorial about ten kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the Ndola city centre. It is accessed by using the Dag Hammarskjöld Memorial Access Road off the T3 Road (Ndola-Kitwe Dual Carriageway).
In late 2021, the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport moved its operations to its current location adjacent to the Dag Hammarskjöld Memorial from its previous location in Ndola’s Itawa suburb. This new airport was engineered by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC International) at a cost of $397 million. It was expected to be completed in Mid-2020 but was delayed by setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 5 August 2021, President Edgar Lungu commissioned the opening of the new airport and immediately, it took the name which was used to refer to the previous location (Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport). The President declared the airport in Itawa as an airbase (handed over to the Zambian Air Force) and renamed it the Peter Zuze Air Force Base, named after Zambia’s first indigenous air commander, Peter Zuze.
While the new airport was under construction, it was referred to as the Copperbelt International Airport and the name was no-longer in use since its opening was commissioned by the President in August 2021. Ndola has retained the name it has been using since 2011 (Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport) to refer to its airport.
Ndola Airport is an airport that serves the city of Ndola and surrounding cities on the Copperbelt. It handles domestic and international flights for both passengers and cargo.
On 18 September 1961, a UN charter flight carrying United Nations Secretary GeneralDag Hammarskjöldcrashed en route to land at Ndola Airport in Itawa. Hammarskjöld and 15 others died in the crash. Although the cause of the crash has never been completely ascertained, it may have been caused by an aircraft attack. The crash site, 15 km west of the city centre (just south of the airport’s current location), has been turned into the Dag Hammarskjöld Crash Site Memorial.
The Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport is located adjacent to the Dag Hammarskjöld Crash Site Memorial and Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School in the western part of Ndola District. It is reachable, by road, using the Dag Hammarskjöld Memorial access road, off the Ndola-Kitwe Dual Carriageway. It is approximately 10 kilometres west of the Ndola City Centre (15 kilometres by road).
The airport has a single runway, designated 09/27 and 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) in length.
The following airlines have scheduled passenger service at Ndola International airport: