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Cablegate: Philippine Civil Aviation Safety Developments

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #2115 2550525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADX D6028C/MSI0902)
O 110525Z SEP 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1808
INFO RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/TSA HQ WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 3599

UNCLAS MANILA 002115

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y/ ADDED ADDEE (TSA HQ)

STATE FOR EAP/MTS AND EB/TRA
FAA FOR TOKYO
SINGAPORE AND TOKYO FOR FAA
COMMERCE FOR BERLINGUETTE

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON EINV ETRD RP
SUBJECT: Philippine Civil Aviation Safety Developments

REF: 00548

1. Summary: Newly appointed Director General (DG) of the Civil
Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Ruben Ciron led a
delegation of Philippine civil aviation officials in mid-August to
Washington D.C. to finalize an agreement with the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) on a plan to rectify air safety deficiencies in
Philippine air safety (reftel). The delegation also traveled to
Montreal, Canada where they met with the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary General to obtain a one-year
deferment of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit (USOAP) originally
scheduled for November 2008. A second CAAP-FAA meeting in
Washington is planned for September 16-18. The regional senior FAA
representative will travel from Japan to meet with CAAP officials
and Embassy officers in Manila on September 24th. End Summary

------------------
Agreement with FAA
------------------

2. Soon after his appointment, CAAP DG Ruben Ciron requested a
meeting with Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell to discuss the
FAA downgrade of Philippine civil aviation safety ratings. The
Philippine CAAP delegation met with FAA officials on August 11, 2008
to finalize a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the development of
an "Action Plan" that would outline the technical steps the CAAP
would need to take to address the various civil aviation safety
discrepancies noted during the FAA audit conducted in July 2007.
The creation of the Action Plan would also be the first step in
discussions about any technical assistance the FAA might be able to
offer.

------------------------------
Meeting in Montreal with ICAO
------------------------------

3. In Montreal, the CAAP delegation met with the ICAO Secretary
General to obtain a one-year deferment of USOAP Assessment of the
Philippines, scheduled in November of this year. The approval of
this request should give CAAP enough time to meet USOAP standards of
safety and security.

---------------------------------------
Upcoming FAA/CAAP Meeting in Washington
---------------------------------------

4. The next FAA-CAAP meeting will be in Washington DC on September
16-18 in order to discuss the technical details of the FAA Action
Plan. The CAAP delegation will consist of the senior representative
from the Flight Standards bureau, an airworthiness inspector, an
operations inspector, a licensing expert, and an attorney.

-------------------
FAA visit to Manila
-------------------

5. The regional senior FAA representative Carl Strombom will visit
Manila on September 24, 2008 to meet with CAAP officials and Embassy
Econ officers to discuss recent developments related to Philippines
civil aviation safety.

KENNEY

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