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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ROME1443
2003-04-04 14:01:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

BRITISH AIRWAYS FACING HEIGHTENED SECURITY

Tags:   EAIR  ECON  IT  AVIATION  FAA 
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						UNCLAS ROME 001443 

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

TSA HDQRS FOR OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

SIPDIS
BRUSSELS FOR TSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON IT AVIATION FAA
SUBJECT: BRITISH AIRWAYS FACING HEIGHTENED SECURITY
MEASURES IN ITALY

UNCLAS ROME 001443

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

TSA HDQRS FOR OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

SIPDIS
BRUSSELS FOR TSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON IT AVIATION FAA
SUBJECT: BRITISH AIRWAYS FACING HEIGHTENED SECURITY
MEASURES IN ITALY


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 24-27, ECONOFF
SPOKE WITH THE BRITISH EMBASSY TRANSPORTATION OFFICER
REGARDING HEIGHTENED SECURITY MEASURES IMPOSED ON BRITISH
AIRWAYS BY THE TURIN AND MALPENSA AIRPORTS. ALTHOUGH
UNLIKELY, U.S. CARRIERS COULD FACE AN ADDITIONAL RESTRICTION
BANNING CELL PHONES AND LAPTOPS IN THE CABIN. BRITISH
AIRWAYS REMAINS THE ONLY AIR CARRIER SUBJECT TO A BAN ON CELL
PHONES AND UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ITS HEIGHTENED SECURITY STATUS
IN ITALY. END SUMMARY.


2. (SBU) A BRITISH EMBASSY TRANSPORTATION OFFICER CALLED
ECONOFF ON MARCH 24 TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER ITALIAN AIRPORT
POLICE HAD ORDERED AMERICAN CARRIERS TO BAN LAPTOPS AND CELL
PHONES IN THE CABIN, WHICH HAS NOT HAPPENED. ACCORDING TO
ENAC'S (ITALY'S CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY) NATIONAL SECURITY
PROGRAM, SCHEDULE 4, PARAGRAPH 5.1.7, ELECTRONIC APPARATUS,
INCLUDING CELL PHONES AND LAPTOP COMPUTERS, CAN BE BANNED
FROM THE CABIN AS LONG AS THE AIR CARRIER HAS BEEN ELEVATED
TO A "SENSITIVE CARRIER" SECURITY STATUS AND THE LOCAL
AIRPORT SECURITY AUTHORITIES VOTE TO IMPLEMENT THIS
RESTRICTION. THE BRITISH OFFICIAL STATED THAT DESPITE THE
FACT THAT AMERICAN, ISRAELI AND BRITISH AIR CARRIERS ARE
LABELED "SENSITIVE CARRIERS," THE AIRPORT IN TURIN IS THE
ONLY AIRPORT TO IMPLEMENT THIS REGULATION, AND AGAINST ONLY
ONE AIR CARRIER - BRITISH AIRWAYS. BRITISH AIRWAYS DOES NOT
BAN CELL PHONES AND LAPTOPS FROM ITS LONDON TO TURIN FLIGHTS.
THE OFFICIAL QUESTIONED WHETHER THIS MIGHT BE A PLOY ON THE
PART OF THE LOCAL TORINESE AIRPORT AUTHORITY TO INCREASE
ALITALIA'S COMPETITIVENESS. HE WANTED TO RAISE THIS POINT
WITH THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN CASE SUCH MEASURES WERE
SUMMARILY APPLIED TO AMERICAN CARRIERS.


3. (U) ECONOFF THEN SPOKE WITH A DELTA REPRESENTATIVE
FAMILIAR WITH SCHEDULE 4, PARAGRAPH 5.1.7 WHO STATED THAT TO
THEIR KNOWLEDGE, THIS REGULATION HAS NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED AT
AIRPORTS WITH AN AMERICAN CARRIER PRESENCE, INCLUDING
FIUMICINO (ROME), MALPENSA (MILAN) AND VENICE. THE DELTA
REPRESENTATIVE CLAIMED THAT PASSENGERS WOULD RIOT IF THIS BAN
WERE TO BE IMPLEMENTED.


4. (SBU) THE BRITISH OFFICIAL ALSO MENTIONED THAT MALPENSA
AIRPORT AUTHORITIES HAVE ORDERED BRITISH AIRWAYS TO MOVE ITS
TICKET COUNTERS NEXT TO THE AMERICAN CARRIERS TICKET
COUNTERS. WHILE THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY AGENCY (TSA)
REPRESENTATIVE IN ROME SUPPORTS THE GROUPING OF "SENSITIVE
CARRIERS" BECAUSE OF INCREASED MEASURES TO SECURE THAT PART
OF THE TERMINAL, THE BRITISH OFFICIAL EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT
CONCENTRATING "COALITION" TICKET COUNTERS IN ONE AREA CREATES
AN EASIER TARGET. ADDITIONAL PROBING REVEALED THAT THIS
OFFICIAL AND THE BRITISH AIRWAYS STAFF SIMPLY DO NOT WANT TO
BE SITUATED NEXT TO THE AMERICAN CARRIERS AND DO NOT BELIEVE
THAT THEIR "SENSITIVE CARRIER" STATUS IS JUSTIFIED.


5. (U) OFFICIALS FROM ENAC EXPLAINED THAT THE AIRPORT
SECURITY COMMITTEE, CHAIRED BY THE AIRPORT DIRECTOR,
DETERMINES WHICH SECURITY MEASURES SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED AT
THAT PARTICULAR AIRPORT. THEY CONFIRMED THAT MALPENSA HAS AN
AREA DEDICATED TO "SENSITIVE CARRIERS" AND BRITISH AIRWAYS
WAS ASKED TO MOVE TO THAT AREA TO BENEFIT FROM ADDITIONAL
SECURITY MEASURES. THE ENAC OFFICIALS SUGGESTED THAT THE
AIRPORT SECURITY COMMITTEE IN TURIN MIGHT HAVE FELT THE NEED
TO IMPLEMENT STRICTER SECURITY MEASURES THAN IS THE NORM AT
OTHER AIRPORTS BUT WERE UNABLE TO OFFER ANY ADDITIONAL
INSIGHT.


6. (SBU) COMMENT. THE BRITISH OFFICIAL HAS REQUESTED USG
SUPPORT IN ADDRESSING THIS PROBLEM TO THE GOI. WHILE WE ARE
SYMPATHETIC AND WILLING TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO OUR GOI
CONTACTS, WE REMAIN NEUTRAL IN THE FACE OF AN ISSUE ISOLATED
TO HMG AND LOCALIZED AIRPORTS. THE TSA REPRESENTATIVE IS IN
AGREEMENT WITH, AND SUPPORTS, THE SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS SITUATION. END COMMENT.
SEMBLER

NNNN
2003ROME01443 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED