National Airports Corporation (NAC) Managing Director Robinson Misilati Tuesday told the Lusaka Magistrate Court that government spent 275,000 Euros to train 10 officers in Italy on how to operate the radar system.
This is in a case in which former Communications and Transport Minister Dora Siliya is charged with two counts of abuse of authority.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Misilati who is a witness in the matter appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda and told the court that government sent five Technicians and five Air Traffic Controllers on two separate trips.
He told the court that on May 21, 2010 he received a letter from the Director of Civil Aviation Chitalu Kabalika stating that five technicians and five Air Traffic Controllers be sent to Italy for training.
He said the first crew which comprised Air Traffic Controllers left on July 26, 2010 and came back on August 6, 2010 while the second team left on September 27, 2010 and came back on October 10, 2010.
Misilati claimed that the two teams reported that the type of training they underwent was sub standard.
He also explained that the officers later went on a familiarization of the equipment of the radar back home in Zambia.
Misilati testified that there a was request by Selex asking government to hire an aircraft at a total cost of 259,000 Euros from a company called Studio 88 in South Africa.
He added that the aircraft arrived in the country on December 28, 2010 and only managed to test the equipment on December 31, 2010 and partially on January 1, 2011 when the plane was going back.
He said the whole process was being supervised by inspectors from the department of Civil Aviation which included a Mr. Arthur Chiwala who was on board, Senior Air Traffic Controller a Mr. E. Mukombe who was on the console and Chief Telecom Officer a Mr. Harrison Banda.
Mr. Misilati testified that the results as regards the primary surveillance system for both channel A and B were dysfunctional.
During cross examination Mr. Misilati told the court that there was no budget line that was done in the yellow book for the repair of the radar system.
The matter was adjourned to Thursday August 9, 2012 for continued trail.