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Cablegate: Icao Assembly: Sri Lanka Support of U.S. Positions

VZCZCXRO7889
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0923/01 1790446
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 280446Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6365
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1146
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0244
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 7227
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 5332
RUEHMT/AMCONSUL MONTREAL 0116
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 2211
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 7815
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 5471
RHMFIUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2167
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000923

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TRA, IO/T, SCA/INS
FAA FOR JIM FILIPPATOS, DI REIMOLD, CARL BURLESON
MCC FOR S GROFF, D TETER, D NASSIRY AND E BURKE
TREASURY FOR LESLIE HULL, AMIT SHARMA, AND JULIA PHILIPP
TSA FOR JILLENE MACCREERY

SIPDIS
US MISSION TO ICAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON ETRD SENV CE
SUBJECT: ICAO ASSEMBLY: SRI LANKA SUPPORT OF U.S. POSITIONS
ON AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY

REF: SECSTATE 77572

1. (U) SUMMARY: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri
Lanka generally supports all the U.S. positions on aviation
safety and security for presentation at the upcoming
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly.
The Director General of the CAA, however, wanted more
information on the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program
and the Aviation Security Point of Contact Network, and
argued against the need for more regional safety oversight
organizations. Overall, the Director General is pleased to
work with post on ICAO matters, especially as Sri Lanka is
scheduled to undergo an ICAO security audit in November 2008.
End summary.

2. (U) On June 21, the Director General of the Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka, Parakrama Dissanayake,
told Econoff that he generally supported reftel U.S.
positions on aviation safety and security to be presented at
the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Assembly. Details of his comments are noted below under
their respective topics. Dissanayake said that Sri Lanka was
subject to an ICAO security audit in 2006 and will undergo a
systems audit in November 2008. He described the
relationship between Sri Lanka and ICAO as generally good,
adding that there were no unresolved issues between the two
parties. He was unsure, however, whether Sri Lanka will
participate in the ICAO Assembly this year, citing lack of
available personnel.

---------------
Aviation Safety
---------------

Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program
----------------------------------------

3. (U) Dissanayake noted that the results of Sri Lanka's
2006 audit (per Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention) resulted
in few concerns and that Sri Lanka has since rectified three
or four of the total six/seven recommendations made. He
perceived the safety risk analysis as a proactive process to
manage safety. He highlighted Sri Lanka's Airlines Flight
Data Analysis Program which applies the same concept as the
proposed safety risk analysis. He queried whether the ICAO
or the individual states will incorporate the program and
monitor the data.

Safety Enhancement
-------------------

4. (U) Dissanayake supported the establishment of an
Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS)
system but wanted more information on its focal point,
accessibility, authority, and format. He stressed that it
should be user-friendly and that the information be limited
to avoid duplication from other information-sharing systems
already in place. Regarding the adoption of the Commercial
Aviation Safety Team (CAST) taxonomy to report aviation
accident and incident data, Dissanayake preferred to continue
using ICAO and local phraseology rather than learning a new
set of terminology and abbreviations.

Technical Assistance
--------------------

5. (U) Dissanayake supported the role of regional
organizations to provide safety oversight. He did not,
however, support the need for more organizations as they
would duplicate already existing organizations which would
result in an overlap of objectives and reporting. He also
queried whether other countries could gain access to
information from other regional oversight organizations.

COLOMBO 00000923 002 OF 003


Dissanayake was also concerned that additional organizations
would take away the funds from existing organizations that
depend on loans and grants from private and public donors.
He highlighted the World Bank and asked how committed it was
to financially support the aviation industry as it was not a
humanitarian program, and whether the World Bank would
continue to fund existing programs while financing new ones.
Dissanayake discussed how the Cooperative Development of
Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Program
(COSCAP) for the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) countries already played the role of the
regional safety oversight authority and noted that it was
annually losing funding from donors.

Air Navigation Systems
----------------------

6. (U) Dissanayake expressed appreciation for the U.S.
commitment to providing Global Positioning System (GPS) -
Standard Positioning Service (SPS) signals, and Wide Area
Augmentation System (WAAS) signals. He noted that Europe,
India and Japan are also developing their own air navigation
systems.

------------
Air Security
------------

Universal Security Audit Program
--------------------------------

7. (U) Dissanayake wanted details on how ICAO's Coordinated
Assistance and Development Branch (CAD) would help States
raise their level of aviation security compliance, and
whether it might include funding, provision of expertise or
other types of material support. Regarding the Aviation
Security Point of Contact Network, he was not aware of this
program and wanted more information on it and asked whether
Sri Lanka can gain controlled access of it. Lastly,
Dissanayake argued against the U.S. position that limited
resources do not prohibit development. He contended that
lack of resources constrain and prevent states from getting
more expensive equipment, as well as recruiting, training and
retaining skilled people.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems
-------------------------

8. (U) Dissanayake agreed with the proposal and offered no
additional comment.

Halon Replacement
-----------------

9. (U) Dissanayake wanted to know what the grace period was,
in relation to desired expiration date, for aircraft with
already-installed halon systems to terminate and replace
their halons.

10. (SBU) COMMENT: Dissanayake has served as the Director
General of the CAA since May 2007, and informed Econoff that
he will be in office for two more years. He has been
involved in the national aviation industry for over 17 years,
including service as an air traffic controller and supervisor
at the Bandaranaike International Airport; Director of Air
Traffic for Air Drones; Director General of Air Drones and
Air Navigation Services; and Director of Aero-Nautical
Services and Aviation Security. Very familiar with the ICAO
and Sri Lanka's participation with the organization,
Dissanayake was meticulous in going over the U.S. positions
with Econoff, which he generally supported except for a few
points in which he wanted additional details and
clarification.

COLOMBO 00000923 003 OF 003


BLAKE

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