Search

 

Cablegate: Flights Transporting U.S. Troops Receive Exemption From

VZCZCXRO4851
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF
DE RUEHLZ #0013/01 1871021
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061021Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL LEIPZIG
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0063
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0001
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFIUU/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
REUHRL/USDAO BERLIN GE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHLZ/AMCONSUL LEIPZIG 0067

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LEIPZIG 000013

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR EAIR MOPS PREL NATO GM
SUBJECT: FLIGHTS TRANSPORTING U.S. TROOPS RECEIVE EXEMPTION FROM
NIGHT-TIME RESTRICTIONS AT LEIPZIG/HALLE AIRPORT

REF: 06 LEIPZIG 0025

LEIPZIG 00000013 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Summary. On June 29, 2007, a Saxony state agency for
regional infrastructure issued an amendment to the operating
regulations for Leipzig/Halle airport, one effect of which will
be that commercial charter flights transporting U.S. military
personnel between CONUS and Middle East/Central Asia may depend
on round-the-clock availability for refueling and other
operations as needed. Of broader economic interest, the
amendment confirms that cargo flights touching down to load or
unload will be permitted without restriction, as will flights
for either cargo or passengers requested by police or military
authorities. 24/7 operations are henceforth secure for charter
companies transporting U.S. troops (currently World, North
American, and Omni Airways) as well as for the Antonov AN-124
transports stationed by the Russia-owned "Ruslan Salis GmbH" at
Leipzig/Halle for strategic airlift missions under the NATO
SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) program. The
decision is also good news for the airport, which on July 5
ceremonially opened a second runway to accommodate booming
business from DHL and other freight carriers. End Summary.

2. (U) During a press conference on June 29, 2007, Walter
Christian Steinbach, the President of the Regierungspraesidium
Leipzig (or "Leipzig Regional Board" - the Saxony state agency
that oversees infrastructure and municipal budgets in the NE
region of Saxony) announced he had issued an amendment to the
agency's 2004 regulation for airport operations. The agency
would impose no restrictions on hours of operation for cargo
flights involving unloading or loading at Leipzig/Halle airport.
In addition, the amendment removes restrictions on cargo and
passenger flights requested by the police or the military.
(Note: All commercial and non-military charter flights and
transiting cargo flights are still prohibited from operations
during the night hours).

3. (U) A November 2006 decision by Germany's Federal
Administrative Court had required amendment of the regulation in
order to limit night operations, as several property owners in
the area had demanded in lawsuits. Officials at Leipzig/Halle
airport (in private) and political leaders up to Saxony
Minister-President Milbradt (in public) express confidence the
amended regulation will withstand any further challenge.

4. (U) Mark Stelse, customer relations manager of the airport,
confirmed to us again July 5 that the exemption from
prohibitions on night operations would apply to the transit
flights of World Airways, North American, and Omni Airlines,
which use Leipzig/Halle airport as a refueling point for their
aircraft transporting U.S. troops to and from the Middle East
and Central Asia. This exemption clause covers also the six
Antonov AN-124 transport planes owned by the Russian firm
"Ruslan Salis," which are stationed (generally two at any given
time) at the airport for strategic airlift missions under the
NATO SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) program, in
which 15 NATO states plus Finland participate.

5. (SBU) Airport management and the state and city governments
that own the airport favored the fewest possible restrictions on
operating times. In this policy they were motivated by a desire
to maintain operational flexibility for the airport's
competitiveness and its role as a job creation motor. Airport
management also advocated 24/7 operations for the American
charter companies (under contract to DoD Air Mobility Command)
as a matter of business development. Political challenges to
the "militarization" of the airport or "indirect support to U.S.
military action in Iraq" came over the past six months from Left
Party delegates in the Saxony-Anhalt state parliament and
Leipzig City Council, but evaporated. We understand that in
spring 2007 the Regional Board directed a request to the Saxony
state government that it inquire of the German Foreign Office as
to whether the flights were consistent with German national
policy. In the end, however, the regional authority made no
reference to German Federal Government views while announcing
the new operating guidelines.

6. (U) Comment: While complaints against noise from the airport
are likely to continue, the Federal Administrative Court
decision, as carried out by the Regierungspraesidium, settles
any legal questions. The charter companies have at
Leipzig/Halle the operational flexibility they need for flights
related to the U.S. military. The airport's economic role for
the region was illustrated in the July 5, 2007 opening of a
second runway to accommodate an increasing number of flights
operated by express delivery company DHL, a subsidiary of German

LEIPZIG 00000013 002.2 OF 002


Post. (Note: If DHL meets the full operations tempo it plans by
June 2008 for Leipzig as its European hub, the company will
nightly land, unload, reload, and dispatch up to 52 aircraft
here. Lufthansa Cargo also recently announced plans to increase
Leipzig operations. End note.) Federal Minister of
Transportation Wolfgang Tiefensee and the Ministers-President of
Saxony-Anhalt and of Saxony each emphasized in their remarks
during the runway opening ceremony the economic importance of
the airport as a creator of jobs.
SCHELAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>