By Yiep Joseph
South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority CEO, David Subek Dada has vowed to never allow the Soviet-era AntonovAn-26 aircrafts fly again in the country airspace, after series of fatal accidents in recent years.
In early November this year, an Antonov An-26 cargo crashed shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport (JIA), killing all five occupants onboard, prompting the government to ground the plane type from operation.
In his address during the grounding of Alpha group of companies’ office complex, David Subek Dada, reaffirmed that all Antonov An-26 planes will not be allowed to operate again.
“I want to let you know that from now onward, we are not going to allow any more Antonov 26 operating in our country or in our airspace this is a message that everyone should hear,” Subek said.
“Because I heard people talking outside there that this thing (suspension of Antonov An-26) is just temporary suspension, they will allow us to operate. We are not going to allow you(operators of Antonov An-26) to operate, let me make it clear unless you bring in new and better aircraft for our people,” he added.
He said that the CAA grounded An-26 planes because their operators failed to meet the requirements.
“Now you have seen how we have suspended all the Antonov especially Antonov 26 because these people, when they brought in aircrafts, they never met the requirements for example, the issue of maintenance and services,” he stated.
Subek blamed the irresponsible operators of the dreaded planes for the repeated crashes that have been witnessed in the recent past.
“You have been hearing about the Antonov 26 that have been crashing and the blame came on us as Civil Aviation. We are not the cause of all these, we have done our best and we are doing our best as civil Aviation but our air operators are the people to be pointed at,” he accused.