South Sudan

Risk Level: Two - Danger exists

[ about risk levels ]
Following five years of civil war, a ceasefire has largely held since Sept 2018. Significant reduction in violence, but the political and security situation remains volatile. In the event of a serious deterioration, similar to those of July 2016 and Dec 2013, HSSJ/Juba airport may be closed at short notice. The UK, France and Germany still advise against overflying South Sudan below FL250/260 due to the risk posed by anti-aircraft weaponry. The US published a similar warning but rescinded it in Aug 2019.

The primary risk now comes from poor levels of ATC provision for overflights below FL245 or for aircraft operating to HSSJ/Juba airport. In Jan 2021, ICAO published a letter warning of service disruptions and lack of qualified ATC personnel, the lack of contingencies in place, communication issues, the number of withdrawn navigation aids and above all, the lack of information being supplied to operators regarding these issues.

Major events:
April 2019: Military coup in Sudan led to the temporary closure of South Sudan’s airspace.
June 2016: The South Sudanese army declared intention to shoot down aircraft without permits and/or not following proper procedures.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
France AIC 02/21 11 Feb 2021 Ongoing
South Africa Notam FACA A0309/21 08 Feb 2021 07 May 2021
South Sudan Notam HSSJ A0021/21 02 Feb 2021 Ongoing
ICAO Letter AN 13/35-21/5 20 Jan 2021 Ongoing
OSPGROUP Research Article 16 Jun 2016 Ongoing
Germany AIC 07/21 26 Aug 2015 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 12 Jun 2015 Ongoing
Source: France
Reference: AIC 02/21
Issued: 11-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Overflights should be at FL260 or above, in the part of the HSSS/Sudan FIR above South Sudan.
From 09/04/2020 and until further notice, French air carriers and aircraft owners registered in France are requested to ensure that their aircraft maintain at all times a flight level above or equal to FL260 in the part of the KHARTOUM FIR (HSSS) above South Sudan.
Source: South Africa
Issued: 08-Feb-21, valid until: 07 May 2021
Plain English: Risk for overflights of South Sudan below FL245 or for aircraft operating to HSSJ/Juba airport due to poor levels of ATC provision.
A0309/21 (Issued for FACA FAJO FAJA) -
POSS EXISTENCE OF SERIOUS RISKS TO THE SAFETY OF INTL CIVIL FLT OPS WI THE KHARTOUM FIR OHD THE TERRITOTY OF SOUTH SUDAN, BLW FL 245,AND ARRIVING AT OR DEPARTING FROM JUBA INTL AP (HSSJ). INFO RECIEVED BY ICAO FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES INDICATES THAT THERE HAS BEEN A DISRUPTION TO ATS AND RELATED SUPPORTING SER WI THE ABV MENTIONED AIRSPACE WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF ADEQUATE CONTINGENCY ARRANGEMENTS BEING IN PLACE. ATTN IS SPECIFICALLY DRAWN TO THE LACK OF SUITABLY QUALIFIED ATC PERSONEL, THE NON-PROMULGATION OF AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING OUT OF SER OR WITHDRAWN NAV EQPT AND THE NECESSARY MITIGATION ARRANGEMENTS, COOR IRREGULARITIES WITH ADJ ACC AND INADEQUATE AIR-GROUND COM. DUE TO CONCERNS, FOR THE OVERALL SAFETY OF INTL AIR TFC, OPR ARE STRONGLY URGED TO USE THIS AND ANY OTHER PERTINENT INFO TO ASSESS FLT SAFETY RISK IN THE AIRSPACE UNDER AUTHORITY OF SOUTH SUDAN.
08 FEB 15:36 2021 UNTIL 07 MAY 12:00 2021 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 08 FEB 15:36 2021
Source: South Sudan
Issued: 02-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: ATC radio is not good enough to cover all airspace in the country. All aircraft must use TCAS.
A0021/21 - ALL ACFT OPERATING IN SOUTH SUDAN AIRSPACE MUST USE TCAS SINCE OUR RADIO CAN NOT COVER THE WHOLE OF SOUTH SUDAN AIRSPACE . THUS , ANY ACFT WHICH HAS NO TCAS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE.
02 FEB 11:12 2021 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 02 FEB 11:40 2021
Source: ICAO
Issued: 20-Jan-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: ICAO letter raising concerns about the risk to civil aircraft in the South Sudan region, below FL245, and into and out of HSSJ/Juba international airport. The letter raises concerns about ATC service disruptions and lack of qualified ATC personnel, the lack of contingencies in place, communication issues, the number of withdrawn navigation aids and above all, the lack of information being supplied to operators regarding these issues. They raise ‘grave concerns’ for the safety of international flights.
Source: OSPGROUP
Issued: 16-Jun-16, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Army of South Sudan will shoot down aircraft.
Source: Germany
Reference: AIC 07/21
Issued: 26-Aug-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
Level 1 (lowest risk). Hazardous situation in South-Sudan. Civil German air operators are advised to take potential risk into account in their risk assessment and routing decisions within the territory and airspace of South Sudan (as part of FIR KHARTOUM (HSSS)) below FL260 including landing, taxiing, parking and take off. Potential risk to aviation from dedicated anti-aviation and ground to ground weaponry.
Source: UK
Issued: 12-Jun-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Risk to aircraft overflying South Sudan airspace below FL250.
Hazardous Situation within or over the territory and airspace of South Sudan

Potential risk to aviation overflying this area at less than 25,000 ft above ground level (agl) from dedicated anti-aviation weaponry.

Operators are strongly advised to take this potential risk into account in their risk assessments and routing decisions.