Juba — South Sudan has established its first civil aviation authority to regulate the industry and develop its potential in the region 19 months after gaining independence.
South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, issued the decree on Tuesday, establishing the authority's board. He also appointed police general Agasio Akol as the chairman of a seven-member board of directors that will oversee the body.
The civil aviation authority will help facilitate some of the requirements needed for the formation of airline companies and their regional and international recognition.
A group of South Sudanese business people have already formed a civil aviation company known as South Supreme Airlines under the chairmanship of renowned businessman Ayii Duang Ayii.
The group met with the vice president, Riek Machar, on Tuesday prior to the establishment of the board for the civil aviation authority. During their discussions they raised a number of concerns and potential challenges that faced the fledgling industry, particularly on issues that necessitated the urgent formation of the board.
Ayii said the company had already purchased several planes that will conduct affordable flights in the country and across the region.
While building roads and bridges remains a priority, the government is also embarking on an ambitious project to connect at least the 10 state capitals by air transport.
The landlocked country has not yet established a national carrier but plans to build one of the biggest international airports in the Tali area, north of Juba, and ally itself with some of the best airlines in the world.