Khartoum International Airport (KRT), the main airport of the Sudanese capital, was temporarily closed on 3 October 2018, after two military planes of the Sudan Air Force (SAF) collided on the runway. No fatalities were reported, but there have been some reports of serious injuries. An airport official said the Soviet-era Antonov aircraft had landed within seconds of each other when the accident occurred.
Leaked footage shows that the two military transport planes of the SAF, an Antonov 26 and Antonov 32, collided on the runway while landing, as they were returning from a training mission. The impact was brutal and seriously damaged both aircraft, severing the tail of one of them. Spokesperson for the African nation’s Civil Aviation Authority, Abdel-Hafiz Abdel-Rahim, told the Sudan Tribune that Khartoum airport authorities had suspended air traffic for several hours in order to take the necessary safety precautions, in accordance with international regulations. Some international flights were diverted to Port Sudan New International Airport (PZU).
Video footage posted on social media showed two planes moving along the runway before one suddenly rams the tail of the other. Both planes appeared to have been badly damaged in pictures posted online. Wednesday’s accident is the third to have hit Sudan’s ageing military fleet in less than a month. On 21 September two pilots were killed when their military jet crashed near Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum on the west bank of the Nile. This came days after a military helicopter crashed on landing in Darfur. All passengers were rescued as the helicopter caught fire. Most of Sudan’s fleet consists of Russian-made aircraft, and in recent years it has suffered several crashes, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.