OUTDATED AIRCRAFTS AT JUBA AIRPORT MUST BE REMOVED
With Odongo Odoyo
By Loro Louis Yugu
The country this week witnessed yet another horrible plane crash that suddenly ended the lives of ten innocent personalities without a survivor.
The aviation authority should this time come out to explain to the citizens the rot in the air transport sector because we cannot continue to lose lives due to outdated aircrafts.
The frequent plane crashes haveresulted to demise of several lives in the country. Last year, 7 people perished awfully when A South West Aviation Antonov An-26 cargo plane crashed at Kemiru village shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport.
As a response, PresidentSalva Kiir Mayarditlast year instructed the Ministry of Transport and the South Sudan Aviation Authority to adhere to international standards on the operation of the aircrafts when assessing airworthy of the plane to operate in the country. But it appears nobody is paying attention to the President’s instructions. This is very unfortunate.
Nevertheless, in August 2020, a charter plane affiliated to City Link Company also crashed after taking off from New Fangak airstrip with over seven survivors.
Again in the same year, a plane belonging to Middle Travel Aviation also crashed in Mundri county of Western Equatoria State while taking off from Mundri Airstrip. The authorities confirmed that all the thirteen passengers who were onboard survived the mishap. Manyplanes have crashed in the country from 2015 to date.
All these series of plane crashes are enough to question the Juba Airport and aviation authorities in regards to the international standards of operations.
The Juba International Airport must get rid of all outdated airplanes that are now dead coffins or they will one day be held responsible for the demise of innocent lives.
It is laudable that the President has directed the Aviation Authority to suspend the operation of South Supreme Airline. That is a good move to avoid demise of innocent lives and the authorities entrusted to manage the airlines should be investigated.
The plane HK-4274 documents should be checked to find out the date of manufacture andits airworthy.This is how things will be put right at Juba International Airport and the aviation industry.
The public have already lost confidence in the airlines in the country which requires thorough investigation and the public should be informed of the outcome to restore the trust.
It is very sad to continue to lose lives of innocent women, children and men due to a loop hole somewhere in the transport sector. The authorities should stand up against the rampant plane crashes. God bless South Sudan.