Friday, 21 September 2018

SOUTH SUDAN: Salva Kiir Orders South-West Aviation Suspension

President Salva Kiir has instructed the Civil Aviation Authority, CAA to suspend operations of South-West Aviation whose one of its aircraft crashed into Lake Yirol recently, killing 20 people.

President Kiir issued the order during a memorial prayer of the victims in Juba on Monday evening.

Among those killed are six women, two SPLA colonels, two children and bishop of the ECS Yirol Diocese, Simon Adut.

Three passengers: a 5-year-old girl, a 40-year-old man and an Italian doctor survived the crash and were flown back to Juba for treatment.

While paying his condolences to the bereaved families, Kiir directed the transport ministry and the CAA to halt activities of the airline until a thorough investigation is conducted.

I also instructed the minister and the Civil Aviation Authority to immediately suspend the operations of South-West airline in the Republic of South Sudan until the investigation is done, he said.

The President also said the CAA should sanction all airlines to provide their manifest and service manual books to avoid recurrence of such incidents.

This, according to him, will aid the CAA know how frequent and last service of the aircraft for approval and verification by other security agencies in the airport before taking off.

The President revealed that a preliminary report of the investigations indicates that poor visibility caused the crash.

However, he said it was partly due to a human error he thinks was avoidable if the pilot had made an emergency landing elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the owner of Supreme Airlines blamed overcrowding of domestic carriers on some airport security personnel.

Ayii Duang said some of the security officers who have access to the runway force crew members to carry their relatives and unauthorized luggage.

He said this hinders the CAA to apply safety rules and regulations.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Ayii urged the relevant government institutions to address the matter:

Juba Airport needs a lot of discipline to be done. Mr. President, minister of transport and the director of Civil Aviation, you need to move out the security at the airport to allow the rules of the aviation to be implemented.

An activist in greater Lakes States is calling on the national government and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the safety of air travelers in the country.

This comes after a passenger plane crashed in Yirol on Sunday, killing 20 people.

In November 2015, a similar crash in Juba left 40 people dead.

Experts often blame the circumstances surrounding the crash on the conditions of the airplanes – which they say are very old.

We are calling on the national authority to see to that these incidences do not repeat themselves, said Manyiel Dut, the regional coordinator for CEPO in Lakes Region.

Also South Sudan has become a dumping ground for outdated planes. We need to have a technical aviation industry that is capable of preventing further losses in the Republic of South Sudan.

On Monday, Eastern Lakes authorities suspected that the caravan might have been overloaded since the number of the passengers on the manifest was not matching with that of the victims.

Twenty people died in the crash; and three others survived.

However, the manifest shows that only 20 passengers were on board Baby Airline L-410.

Dut appealed to all South Sudanese not to board planes that have already reached seating capacity.

Tourism Observer

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