THE National Airports Corporation (NAC) yesterday received newly acquired fire fighting and medical equipment worth K170 billion.
Government acquired the equipment from a United States of America (US) firm.
The equipment was handed over during at a ceremony held at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and will be distributed to all international airports in Zambia.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Deputy Minister Mutaba Mwali said the equipment would make Zambian airports among the best equipped in the region with fire-fighting equipment.
"It is my rare honour and privilege to preside over the official handover of the newly acquired fire fighting equipment that will make our airports among the best equipped in the region," he said.
The equipment included 12 titan 4—4 medium fire fighting foam tenders, five titan 6—6 major fire fighting foam tenders, nine trauma ambulances, four containers of assorted fire fighting and rescue equipment and 40 fire fighting uniforms and personal protective equipment.
Dr Mwali said Zambia was one of the State parties to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO) Chicago convention of 1944 which contains standards and recommended practices that prescribed the physical and associated characteristics to be met at airports and to be used for international air transport operations.
"As a contracting State, the Government has demonstrated to the global aviation community and the public at large that it is committed to maintenance and achievement of safe air transport.
"This by making available huge resources and procuring state of the art airport fire-fighting equipment amounting to K170 billion (US$32,539,570) with a unit cost of a titan 6—6 major tender at K 10.6 billion (US$2,035,319.80) and the unit cost of a trauma ambulance at K 1.5 billion (US $285,655.00)," he said.
Robin Pickford, a representative of Albion Export Services Limited of the US, which supplied the equipment said he was happy to have partnered with Zambia on the fourth contract to supply airport equipment which dates back to 25 years ago.
Albion Export Services Limited provided training to the fire fighters on how to use the equipment and it will continue working with the Zambian technicians on the acquired equipment.