Search

 

Cablegate: German Moi Standoff On Tsa Air Security Inspections

VZCZCXRO0708
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHFT #7622/01 3101449
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 061449Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL FRANKFURT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8293
INFO RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 FRANKFURT 007622

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EB/TRA, EUR/AGS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR KSEC PTER ASEC GM
SUBJECT: German MOI Standoff on TSA Air Security Inspections


Sensitive but unclassified; not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security's
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regularly conducts
observations of both U.S. and German carriers in Germany at
airports with direct service to the U.S., as mandated under U.S.
law. Recently, the German Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has
limited or denied TSA inspectors permission to observe German
flag carriers at airports in Duesseldorf and Cologne-Bonn. The
MOI justifies the decision on the grounds of timing, resources,
and jurisdiction, arguing that TSA inspections are duplicative
and pose an unnecessary burden on security personnel. END
SUMMARY.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"No" to Inspections of German Carriers at Duesseldorf
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) Before TSA conducts an observation, it notifies in
writing to entities directly affected by the visits (including
the airline and airport) with a courtesy letter to federal
authorities. Typically, local authorities brief and/or escort
TSA Inspectors during their observations. In a letter sent on 14

SIPDIS
September 2006, TSA Representative (TSAR) announced the intended
visit of two Senior Aviation Security Inspectors to Duesseldorf
Airport (DUS) the week of October 16, to observe LTU and
PrivatAir operations there. Upon arrival, however, airport
officials and federal police informed the team that it could not
conduct the inspection, based on an order of the MOI.

3. (SBU) In subsequent communications, a MOI representative
referred to a September 21, 2006 letter to TSA (from Mr. Jesko
Ullrich) in which the MOI:
-- cited European Commission and ICAO audits of German airports
as sufficiently rigorous
-- said that the MOI and airports do not have sufficient
personnel to escort TSA inspectors for extended inspections
-- proposed a half-day meeting with security personnel at DUS to
explain the airport's aviation security plan including a brief
inspection of the airport (presumably in lieu of a full
inspection).

4. (U) NOTE: When TSA visits U.S. air carriers, although it sends
a courtesy letter to notify the MOI and Ministry of
Transportation (MOT), there is no need for assistance from
airport officials since the team is escorted by carrier
representatives. END NOTE.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Standoff in Cologne-Bonn But Inspection Likely to Proceed
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

5. (SBU) A similar situation is pending at Cologne-Bonn Airport
(CGN). On October 25, TSA wrote to MOI and MOT officials
regarding a planned November visit of two TSA inspectors to
conduct observations of Continental Airlines at CGN. TSAR
received an initial email reply from MOI on October 26,
requesting that the visit be postponed until December (with no
explanation). When TSAR referred to TSA's tight schedule and
explained that the TSA visit in question would only consist of
observing the U.S. carrier -- i.e., no assistance required from
airport/police officials -- MOI repeated its opposition to a
visit in November. Subsequently, the relevant state transport
ministry (German state of North Rhine-Westphalia) recommended the
inspection go forward. TSA now has indications that the visit
will proceed as planned on November 7-8.

- - - -
COMMENT
- - - -

6. (SBU) MOI attempts to delay inspections through the end of
November may stem from a planned TSA-MOI meeting in December to
discuss Germany's new National Quality Control Program (an ICAO
mechanism for improving and standardizing air security). The MOI
appears less flexible on TSA inspecting German flag carriers than
on inspections of U.S. carriers.

7. (SBU) MOI intransigence may be a sign of things to come, even
if it eventually acquiesces on the question of TSA inspections at
DUS and CGN. In its official communications, the MOI criticizes
the "duplication of efforts" implicit in TSA inspections and
asserts that international jurisdiction is limited to ICAO's
Universal Security Audit Program and the European Commission
(whereas national jurisdiction is in the hands of the German MOI
and MOT). In Germany and elsewhere, expanded European Commission
efforts are likely to force the issue of TSA inspections as a
question of resources and jurisdiction. TSAR reports that TSA

FRANKFURT 00007622 002 OF 002


colleagues in other EU member states are also having difficulty
scheduling inspections; TSAR believes this may indicate that the
Commission is asserting its authority in the area of airline
security. If this is correct, TSA may face difficulties in
carrying out its congressionally-mandated responsibilities.

8. (U) TSA is continuing to work the issue through its channels.

9. (U) This message was coordinated with TSAR Frankfurt and
Embassy Berlin.

POWELL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>