By Kidega Livingstone
The South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority has raised concerns over the project for expansion and upgrading of Juba International Airport, calling for accountability on the first phase of the project.
Phase one project for upgrading the airport was undertaken by a Chinese Construction company which worked in extension of the runway and installation of airport equipment.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer, Mathiang Maker Thon said there was no information about the project.
“To my understanding, the phase one project was opened and inaugurated by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and has not yet been handed over and no update by the Ministry of Transport only few individual know the actual status of the project,” said Maker.
“It seems there is a great rush for the phase two by the Ministry of Transport without clear knowledge about phase one,” he added.
He also said that the Ministry of Transport interferes in the work of civil aviation in terms of revenue collection and other works.
Juba Monitor could not immediately get response from the Ministry of Transport.
However last year Ministry of Transport constructed new departure and arrival terminals at the airport which was officially opened by the Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga.
According to Maker, establishment of South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority headquarters near airport under his leadership would improve Juba International Airport in the area of regional relationship with other Aviation Authorities in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
He said cleaning and maintenance of the airport would also be improved.
“The payment and motivation of the staff and regional cooperation is the only way we can improve the work of aviation as well as improving the airport internationally,” Maker said.
“The airport was full of grass around and you could not see some part of the area. We are planning to construct water channel in order to avoid flooding at the airport,” he added.