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Cablegate: Uae Request for Ntsb Assistance Into Azza Air Crash

VZCZCXRO9204
OO RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHAD #1001 2981300
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 251300Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/3PAQQ~8QQQX022
RUWDQAB/NTSB WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 8462
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0071
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC

UNCLAS ABU DHABI 001001

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP AND EEB/TRA/OTP (WEBSTER)
FAA FOR API, AIG
NTSB FOR AS-10 (MCINTOSH, SEDOR)
TREASURY FOR OFAC (SUBIN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR PGOV SU AE
SUBJECT: UAE REQUEST FOR NTSB ASSISTANCE INTO AZZA AIR CRASH

REFS: A) WEBSTER/COOPER EMAILS
B) SECOR/BARNETT EMAILS

1. (SBU) On October 25, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)
Director General Saif Al Suwaidi called FAA Attache to request NTSB
assistance with the investigation of the October 22 crash of a
Boeing 707 cargo plan operated by Azza Air Transport. Al Suwaidi
asked that the NTSB begin to assist with the investigation
immediately, as the GCAA has limited capability. Al Suwaidi noted
that Investigator in Charge (IIC) Ismail Abdel Wahed has spoken to
the NTSB (Joe Sedor), but that it did not seem like the NTSB
assistance with the investigation was forthcoming.

BACKGROUND
----------

2. (SBU) On October 22, a Boeing 707-330C cargo plan owned by Azza
Air Transport and leased to Sudan Airways crashed at Sharjah
International Airport. (Note: Sharjah is one of the seven Emirates,
located north of Dubai. End Note.) The plane was headed to
Khartoum but crashed only minutes after takeoff in a deserted
stretch of land adjacent to the airport. The airplane was almost
completely destroyed, and all six crew members were killed. GCAA
officials immediately responded along with other federal and local
UAE emergency officials. DG Al Suwaidi subsequently told the press
that the GCAA had begun its investigation, but was "inviting the US
because they are more experienced with investigations of this kind
with this type of aircraft. So we feel they can be helpful in
determining the cause of the accident."

3. (SBU) Post understands that Azza Air Transport was designated by
the U.S. Treasury Department pursuant to Executive Order 13400 for
contributing to the conflict in Darfur. Post understands that NTSB
support may require Treasury approval or licensing (ref emails).

COMMENT
-------

4. (SBU) The GCAA is working to develop independent investigatory
body, but does not currently have sufficient capacity to undertake a
complete investigation. Post strongly encourages involved
Washington agencies to try to facilitate the UAE's request for
assistance. End Comment.
OLSON

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