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Cablegate: Airbus On Syria Deal and Usg Export Controls

VZCZCXRO5327
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHFR #1884 2881524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141524Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4511
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0385

UNCLAS PARIS 001884

SENSITIVE
NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EIND ECON ETRD EAIR PREL SY FR
SUBJECT: AIRBUS ON SYRIA DEAL AND USG EXPORT CONTROLS

REF: A) PARIS 1771 B) PARIS 1078

1. (SBU) Summary: Airbus confirmed its commitment to
acquiring U.S. export licenses, as necessary, for any
aircraft sales to Syria. Apart from the proposed sale of
50 aircraft to Syria, Airbus expressed continuing
frustration over the complicated U.S. export control and
licensing procedures that can impact sales of Airbus with
U.S. manufactured parts. The upcoming delivery of A380's
equipped with Northrop avionics to Lufthansa is a case in
point, Airbus says. EASA airworthiness certification for
these planes cannot be completed without both State and
Commerce licenses but jurisdictions remain unclear. End
summary.

2. (SBU) We spoke with Airbus Chief Compliance Officer
Patrick Donovan on October 7 about the possible sale or
lease of Airbus aircraft to Syria. Donovan confirmed
Airbus is discussing with Syria the sale of 50 aircraft
(30 A320s, 10 A330s and 10 A350s) over the next decade.
He assured us that Airbus will apply for the required
U.S. licenses if there is more than 10 percent U.S.
content in any of the subject aircraft. Airbus will also
conduct detailed controlled content evaluations of each
type of aircraft, as necessary.

3. (SBU) We underscored that USG policy is not to approve
licenses for the export of parts and components to be
incorporated into foreign manufactured aircraft intended
for sale or lease by the manufacturer to Syria subsequent
to the enactment of the SAA. This includes the sale or
lease of aircraft to Syria by private third-parties. We
also explained that even those products that qualify for
an export license because of a Presidential waiver
require an extensive review by several USG agencies. The
process can be time-consuming, with license applications
subject to a general policy of denial.

4. (SBU) Airbus representative reiterated that the
company has no intention of structuring the deal to
attempt to circumvent USG sanctions, including through
lease and purchase agreements with a private third-party.
The proposed Airbus/SyrianAir deal is subject to a series
of strong internal controls by AirbusQ top level
management. He also made clear that Airbus is laying a
foundation for a long-term project which may not be
concluded until the situation in the Middle East
improves. He believed that Boeing has also had
preliminary discussions with Syria regarding future
aircraft sales.

5. (SBU) Donovan then raised the general issue of costly,
long, and complicated U.S. export control licensing
procedures. He cited the case of Lufthansa's first A-
380, scheduled for delivery in early 2009. The aircraft
includes a Commerce-licensed Northrop Grumman navigation
system that must be certified by the European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA). The equipment requires a State
Department license to export its ITAR-controlled data.
However, the Commerce license reportedly prevents
Northrop Grumman from sharing ITAR-controlled data with
EASA for design certification purposes. To allow for
disclosure of ITAR-controlled data to EASA, a Technical
Assistance Agreement (TAA) or a bilateral aviation safety
agreement must be signed between the FAA and EASA. Yet
it appears EASA cannot sign a TAA and it is unclear which
European Union agency is competent to do so.

Stapleton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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