The South Sudanese Council of Ministers on Friday ordered the Transport Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority to thoroughly screen all the aeroplanes operating in the country following an increase in plane crashes.
Cases of planes crashing in South Sudan have been on the rise recently, with the latest case being reported at Juba airport on 28 April.
South Sudan lacks a proper land transportation infrastructure, forcing people to move and transport goods by air.
Addressing journalists after the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet listened to an investigation report into two plane crashes involving the South Supreme Airline in Pieri and South West craft that killed 10 people, including crew members and six people, respectively.
Makuei said the report found so many irregularities in the two plane crashes and ordered thorough screening of all aeroplanes operating.
“After a thorough investigation into that (plane crashes), the report found that it had a lot of irregularities involved in this accident and also on the report of South Supreme Air which also crashed it is also found that there were a lot of irregularities involved in both accidents,” he said
He noted that the cabinet directed the transport ministry and the civil aviation authority to conduct a thorough check of the airworthiness of all aircrafts operating in the country to avoid similar accidents.
“As such, the cabinet took note of these irregularities and directed that the ministry of transport in collaboration with the civil aviation authorities, should first check all the aircrafts on their airworthy,” Makuei said.
“It is worth mentioning that most of the planes which are flying here in South Sudan are written off in parts of the world but these people go and buy these junks and they come and operate them here in South Sudan. So it is directed that these planes should be thoroughly checked for their airworthiness, any plane that is found not to have airworthiness should be grounded or should be let go if it is a foreign plane,” Makuei reiterated.
He also revealed that some aircrafts have been operating with without or forged licenses adding that the transport ministry has been directed to ensure that the operation of all aircrafts conforms to the international standard.
He cited South Supreme Airline as one of the aircrafts that has been operating with a forged license.
“Some of the aircrafts have been found to be operating without licenses, others are operating with forged documents and so forth, so all these have also been directed that they should check thoroughly on the licenses and the insurance, most of them are also operating without insurance,” he said
He added, “For South Supreme Airline, Supreme Airline has a lot of problems. First of all, they have been operating on a forged license and that is an offence under the law. They are in the court, and also, the relatives of the victims have taken them to the court for compensation.”