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Cablegate: Goe Seeks Clarification of Faa Plans

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #5333/01 2361505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241505Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0877
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0226
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0367
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0151

UNCLAS CAIRO 005333

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

BRUSSELS FOR FAA -- TONY FAZIO, KURT EDWARDS

ABU DHABI FOR FAA

ATHENS FOR TSA

FAA NATL HQ WASH DC FOR EMULLIKIN, AEU-10

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR PREL EG
SUBJECT: GOE SEEKS CLARIFICATION OF FAA PLANS


Sensitive but unclassified. Not for internet distribution

1. (U) This is an action cable. For action requested, see
paragraph four.

2. (SBU) On August 6, econoff learned from Chairman of the
Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) General Samir Abdel Maboud
that a courtesy call by FAA desk officer Leeann Hart on the Egyptian
Ambassador in Washington was misconstrued on the part of the GOE.
The Egyptian Ambassador appears to have understood that a general
discussion of FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA)
program was a notification by the FAA that the USG plans an IASA in
Egypt in the near future. Details of the meeting were forwarded
back by the Embassy in Washington to the MFA, and then on to the
Egyptian CAA. CAA chairman Maboud was angry about what the FAA is
reported to have told the Egyptian Ambassador; that is, that there
is concern about the CAA's institutional capacity to oversee
aviation safety. Furthermore, the letter notes that the FAA will be
in direct contact with the GOE about plans for the IASA review. For
an informal Embassy translation of the internal GOE letter see para
4.

3. (SBU) We have been told by the regional FAA rep with
responsibility for Egypt that although Egypt may be in line for an
IASA review, one is not scheduled at this time.

4. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Please clarify whether or not FAA plans
an IASA for Egypt in the near future. We also request that any
further communication with the GOE, including notification of a
pending IASA, go through formal channels to the US Embassy in Cairo,
rather than directly with the Egyptian Embassy in Washington.

5. (U) Begin Text:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Assistant Minister for American Affairs
No. 1710

Date: July 17, 2006

Eng. Mohamed Abdul Monem Al Kordi
Head of the Central Directorate for the Office of the Minister of
Aviation

Greetings and Appreciation,

In the framework of cooperation and coordination with your honorable
Ministry, and following the book of the American Sector number 1637
dated July 4, I would like to inform you that our Ambassador in
Washington met with Mrs. LeeAnn Hart, the responsible officer for
Europe and the Middle East in the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA), where the following was tackled:

I. The American officer pointed out that the FAA inspectors
expressed their concerns about the Egyptian Civil Aviation's
capability in guaranteeing the technical security for aircrafts
flying from Egypt to the United Sates. She hopes that the Egyptian
side would cooperate and facilitate sending an FAA delegation to
examine the situation, ensure the implementation of the security
measures stated by the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), and correct the deficiencies cooperatively, which allows for
handling the pitfalls without announcing them publicly. Whereas, a
single action from the FAA's side in reviewing the procedures
requires announcing the results of its investigation publicly, that
will negatively affect the general image even if means of handling
the problem is agreed on.

II. Regarding this subject matter, the Ambassador asked whether the
FAA addresses the ICAO or the country whose flights' security are to
be investigated, and if the subject carries an institutional aspect
rather than technical. The American official stated that they
usually contact the country of concern directly. She also said that
the American inspection team is composed of four technicians, of
whom a lawyer is specialized in the civil aviation law, who stay for
five days, to ensure the security of aircrafts flying to the U.S.
The delegation will write its notes in a comprehensive report which
includes a joint plan with the Egyptian side. Hart explained that
the FAA's concern is related to the Egyptian Civil Aviation's
capability in guaranteeing air security from the institutional
aspect, which means its regulatory laws and available capabilities,
that is, not related to EgyptAir as an air courier.

III. The Ambassador asked whether the FAA has contacted the Egyptian
Authorities in this regard and the American officer mentioned that
they have already done that with the Egyptian side and they also got
an initial response. Yet, when it came to the $40,000 investigation
cost, both parties stumbled. The FAA officer said that the CAA
should bear it. Hart also added that the FAA representative at the
American Embassy in Cairo is Kevin Roland and I notified her that I
will investigate the issue in Cairo.

Please lookup and warn accordingly,

Thank you for your positive cooperation,

Respectfully,

Ambassador
Dr. Sallama Sahker
Assistant Minister for American Affairs
Ricciardone

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