Implement aviation safety requirements
Sometimes you wonder whether our air aviation authorities especially those handling the internal flight within the country often conduct safe flight testing to ensure aircraft is safe before takeoff.
These tests are often conducted to find out if the aircraft poses any danger to the pilot, aircraft, or other equipment during both normal and emergency operating conditions.
Unfortunately, most of the aviation operating in South Sudan seem not to be doing this safety exercise because most of the plane crashes had occurred just a distance after the pilot took off from Juba International Airport.
The authorities and the owners of aviation must ensure that all those planes are properly checked and they meet the international standards in terms of safety. Again, those planes providing services within the country seem to be outdated. If it is checked, most of those planes could be over one hundred years old and we still expect them to provide for us safe flight.
They are completely dumped assets that cannot be used in any other countries, maybe only in South Sudan because they have been allowed to operate here.
There are several causes of plane crashes including pilot error. Pilots are involved at every stage of the flight, and pilot errors can occur at any one of them. There can also be mechanical failure, equipment failures, and weather that can lead to a plane crash. However, in South Sudan bad weather is does not contribute much to plane crashes compared to other countries. The main cause of plane crashes in the country seems to fall within the other causes.
About 87 people have died in aviation accidents since the country gained independence in 2011. The number is too big just within 10 years. The International Air Transport Association needs to take serious steps to ensure that the country’s civil aviation authority implements safety standards.
There have never been any significant improvements in safety performance, especially for the internal flight.
On Tuesday, five people were killed in a plane crash at Gondokoro after taking off from Juba International. This increases the number of the several fatal crashes that have been recorded in the country since independence. In March, 10 people died when a Let L-140 passenger plane crashed. Last year in August an An-26 cargo plane crashed, 17 people reportedly perished. While earlier this year, a propeller fell off an An-26 on approach to Juba airport and fortunately, nobody was hurt. So, the civil aviation authority needs to take a serious step towards the implementation of safety standards.
Since the beginning of the plane crash in the country, no finding has been released despite forming several investigative committees. No single report has been released or no single death compensated by the aviation involved in the crashes.
It is time for the government to expedite the development of physical infrastructure because if the country had better infrastructure, some of the minor aviation accidents could be avoided. There would be no reason to rely on outdated planes with unpredictable safety as transportation.