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Cablegate: Nigeria: World Airways Charter to Lagos

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000337

SIPDIS


DOT FOR K SAMPLE AND D MCDOWELL
DEPARTMENT FOR EB FINSTON


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ETRD NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: WORLD AIRWAYS CHARTER TO LAGOS

1. Summary. The Ministry of Aviation is awaiting USG
Designation of World Airways before it will grant landing
rights. The Minister of Aviation published a notice in the
Guardian newspaper on January 23 stating that World Airways
does not have permission to fly to Nigeria. The Ministry's
approval of landing rights in time for the February 28
inauguration is now in doubt. DOT and STATE EB may want to
suggest to World Airways that it file all required papers
without delay to meet this deadline. Copies of the documents
should be forwarded to the Embassy. The Embassy is prepared
to approach senior GON officials to ensure expeditious
approval. End Summary.


OPEN SKIES AGREEMENT SIGNED, BUT NOT RATIFIED
---------------------------------------------


2. Background: On August 10, 2000 an Air Transport Agreement
was signed between the United States Government and the
Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Special
Negotiator for International Aviation of the Department of
State, Thomas J. White, signed on behalf of the USG, and
Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Aviation, S.B. Ajulo,
signed on behalf of the Government of Nigeria (GON).


3. The National Assembly (legislature) of Nigeria has not
ratified the Agreement. The Ministry of Aviation claims the
Agreement has been acceded to and should be deemed
operational.


-----------------------------------------
Article 3 ) Designation and Authorization
-----------------------------------------


4. Article 3 of the Agreement states as follows:


Each Party shall have the right to designate as many airlines
as it wishes to conduct international air transportation in
accordance with this Agreement and to withdraw or alter such
designations. Such designations shall be transmitted to the
other party in writing through diplomatic channels and shall
identify whether the airline is authorized to conduct the
type of air transportation specified in Annex I or in Annex
II or both.


On receipt of such a designation, and of applications from
the designated airline in the form and manner prescribed for
operating authorizations and technical permissions, the other
Party shall grant appropriate authorizations and permissions
with minimum procedural delay provided:


A) substantial ownership and effective control of that
airline are vested in the Party designating the airline,
nationals of that Party or both;


B) the designated airline is qualified to meet the
conditions prescribed under the laws and regulations normally
applied to the operation of international air transportation
by the Party considering the application or applications; and


C) the Party designating the airline is maintaining and
administering the standards set forth in Article 6 (Safety)
and Article 7 (Aviation Security).


5. The United States Embassy in Nigeria is prepared to send
a diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
designating World Airways and to forward a copy to the
Ministry of Aviation. Suggested text follows below.


"The Embassy of the United States of America presents its
compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria and has the honor to refer to the US )
Nigeria Air Transport Agreement of August 10, 2000 (the
Agreement).


The Embassy wishes to inform the Ministry that the United
States has designated World Airways, Inc., of HLH Building
101 World Drive, Peachtree City, Georgia to operate a new
regularly scheduled chartered air transportation between
Lagos and the United States per the Agreement.


The Embassy of the United States of America avails itself of
this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the assurances of its
highest consideration."


6. We recommend that World Airways forward all information
pertinent to Article 3, sub-sections 2A, B, and C directly to
the Minister of Aviation via courier. We also ask you send a
copy of the documents under separate cover to Steve Hricik,
U.S. Embassy, #7 Mambilla Street, (Off Aso Drive), Asokoro,
Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
JETER

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