Livingstone Airport fraught with delays


(eTN) – Although Livingstone Airport in Zambia has new techonologically-advanced security processing available at its facility, it appears that modernization has not streamlined processing time for travelers. In fact, it seems one should expect delays.

Here, we share commentary from a Zambian tour operator:

“We wish to advise that Zambian Authorities at LVI [Livingstone Airport] have introduced new security features that are impacting on the processing time for international arrivals and departures. These new features include finger print and passport scanning, plus photographing of every passenger that comes through. We have been informed that on average it will take +/- 4 minutes to process each passenger. However, we have already seen the impact of these new measures, which are leading to congestion at the Arrivals & Departures halls and delayed transfers from LVI.

“There is a good probability that guests on scheduled transfers may be delayed waiting for others booked on the same vehicle that are delayed in the process. We will obviously take whatever measures we can to alleviate any delays, however, I strongly recommend that guests on scheduled transfer be advised that they may encounter delays on arrival and transferring to respective hotels.

“Yesterday my son, Muftau, was flying outfrom the airport. When we arrived, the line of passengers was to the door. National Airports officials were checking all the names on a list for each flight before passing them on to the next step to have their bags go through the scanner. At this point, I left Muftau to go through to the flight check-in. One-and-a-half hours later, he phoned me to say that he had just finished all formalities.

“After checking in with the airline, he was then required to join the queue for Immigration. There was only one officer working. Muftau waited patiently. On reaching the desk, he had his photo taken, but not fingerprints – Muftau thinks that the machine was not working.

“I must say I am rather confused. Security is one thing, but this seems to be pushing our patience to the limit. If we have to have all this high-tech equipment, surely we have to make it a bit more efficient.

“I am not even sure why we need it. We have children with no parents; we have people waiting for hours to see doctors at the hospital; we have roads full of potholes … the list goes on … why have we spent money on irritating tourists?”