The Civil Aviation Authority CAA, which regulates the air industry in Uganda, says the Ugandan government has to write to its South Sudan counterpart to institute investigations into an Eagle Air crash in Yei on April 1. The Eagle Air aircraft, which was taking off from Yei aerodrome in South Sudans Central Equatoria State, burst its tyre and veered off the runway crashing in the bush. The passengers and crew escaped unhurt.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates the air industry in Uganda, says the Ugandan government has to write to its South Sudan counterpart to institute investigations into an Eagle Air crash in Yei on April 1.
The Eagle Air aircraft, which was taking off from Yei aerodrome in South Sudan's Central Equatoria State, burst its tyre and veered off the runway crashing in the bush. The passengers and crew escaped unhurt.
Two weeks on, no much headway has been made as far as investigations into the crash are concerned.
The management of Eagle Air says while they want a speedy investigation into the crash, they cannot do much since it is now a bilateral issue between Uganda and South Sudan.
Asked by Uganda Radio Network why it is taking too long to institute investigations into the crash, the CAA Director Safety, Security and Economic Regulations, Sam Muneza, said according to aviation rules, the state in which the incident occurred is the one to institute the investigations.
Muneza said they have reported the matter to the Minister of Works and Transport, Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege, who has to communicate to her South Sudan counterpart via diplomatic channels.
Muneza said once the South Sudanese give the nod, then CAA can go and participate in the investigations, adding that they are waiting for the response from the Sudanese.
He emphasised that it is important to ascertain what could have cause the aircraft's crash.
The Works ministry publicist, Susan Kataike, could not be reached for a comment on whether Minister Azuba has communicated with the South Sudanese aviation authorities.
In an earlier interview with URN, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Eagle Air, Joan Kagoro, said they are concerned to have the investigation carried out, adding that the aircraft is so valuable for them to lose just like that.
Kagoro said Eagle Air has experts who are capable of doing the investigations should they be granted permission.
Eagle Air has been the only airline flying to Yei, a town under siege by rebel soldiers of the South Sudan Liberation Army In Opposition (SPLA-IO). The most reliable route to and out of the town is by air.
While the Kaya-Yei road is completely cut off, it requires one to travel in a heavily guarded convoy between Yei and the South Sudan capital Juba.
Even then the convoys frequently come under gun attacks by the rebels and other lawless groups.
Eagle Air has also been instrumental in airlifting people fleeing the conflict into Uganda.