Juba – South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority has withdrawn the license of several Antonov planes and ordered their owners to fly them out of South Sudan.
In an order seen Pan African Visions, the aviation authority says the suspension decision was reached in accordance with recommendations by the Safety Oversight Committee.
The civil aviation authority said the committee on the 7th of November, resolved immediate withdrawal of AN-26, AN-24, AN-28, AN-30, Hawkers HS-748 and Let-410UVP and to leave with an exception of the UN operated Antonovs.
This comes a week after a cargo plane, An-26, operated by Optimum Aviation – a local firm crashed shortly after take-off from Juba International Airport en-route to Maban in Upper Nile State, a country north; killing all the five crew members.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the country authorities launched an investigation into the incident.
“The identified aircraft are ordered to leave South Sudan to their State of Registry within one week as from the date of submission of this report,” said Capt: Subek David, chief executive office of South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority, in the order.
The civil aviation further warned that the two AN-26 planes owned by the South Sudan Air force flying with foreign civil registration to change to the military registration or else face a ban by the aviation authority.
In May 2021, the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority ordered all airline companies operating Antonov An-26 to cease operations until further notice due to multiple fatal crashes.
The Russian Antonov AN-26s, which were manufactured in 1969 – have been black listed by the Flights Safety foundation in 2006.
Several Antonov planes have reportedly crashed in recent years in the world youngest nation, a country emerging from a ruinous civil war that broke out in 2013, two years after it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.