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South Sudan bans Antonov planes after fatal accident

By Tapeng Michael Ohure

South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority has banned Antonov planes from operating in the country following a fatal crash on October 2.

Only Antonov planes operated by the United Nations have been spared.

The Antonov 26 cargo plane operated by Optimum Aviation Company crashed shortly after take-off from Juba International Airport on a flight to Maban killing five people on board.

The crash prompted the institution of an investigation committee by the government to establish the cause and as well airworthiness of planes operating in the country.

Now according to the Aviation Authority, the Antonov planes lack proper maintenance and registration documents.

“Since they came here, they don’t go for maintenance outside and that is why we have a lot of accidents from these Antonov planes,” Kur Kuol, the Director of Juba International Airport told Juba Echo by phone.

A statement issued by the aviation authority on October 7 mentions planes of makes including AN-26, AN-24, AN-28, AN-30, Hawkers HS-748 and Let-410UVP as those to cease operating and return to their countries of registration.

The planes have been given a week from October 7 to leave South Sudan.

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