JUBA AIRPORT CLOSED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY
Information was finally confirmed that on Saturday 09th of July NO flights will be allowed into the airport in Juba although it appears that no NOTAM has been formally issued, still in the domain of the ‘united’ Sudan civil aviation body in Khartoum until independence finally arrives in the South when their flag will be officially raised on Saturday. In fact some air operators have hinted that a second day of no flights was likely but were unable to confirm even at this late stage if that second day would be tomorrow 08th July or Sunday 10th of July. Commercial passenger flights are hence not expected to resume normal levels before 11th of July and even now all Juba flights are fully booked and the same can be expected on the outbound flights as of next week, when scheduled operations resume.
Sources in Juba did confirm that the lack of a formal NOTAM was making it difficult for airlines presently flying into the South Sudan from Nairobi, Addis and Entebbe but also confirmed that they had notified the local airline offices at the Juba airport to inform their head offices accordingly, verbally as Khartoum had not issued formal notices.
However that said, problems with flight clearances appear to have taken place already today when an Air Uganda flight had to delay due to lack of clearance by Juba airport but this was resolved swiftly it appears and the flight, fully booked, took off for the soon to be capital of the new Republic of South Sudan.
When that historic development has taken place a new civil aviation authority or department of civil aviation will then oversee the sector from Juba as all oversight functions from Khartoum will have ceased on Independence Day.
The new Republic of South Sudan will then also become an ICAO member directly, something which is also due to happen in the international telecommunications, postal, banking and other sectors which are governed by global bodies where only the Khartoum regime was represented in the past.
Watch this space as Independence Day comes closer and closer.