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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04DJIBOUTI1227
2004-09-21 13:34:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI AIRPORT MANAGER ON EXPANSION AND U.S.

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  ECON  MARR  ASEC  DJ 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 001227 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/E AND AF/EPS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV ECON MARR ASEC DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI AIRPORT MANAGER ON EXPANSION AND U.S.
MILITARY USE OF DJIBOUTI PORT FACILITIES

REF: DJIBOUTI 856 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: AMBASSADOR MARGUERITA D. RAGSDALE. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (
D).



1. (C) Summary: David Hawker, Dubai Ports International
representative in Djibouti who manages Djibouti International
Airport, confirmed to Ambassador the Government of Djibouti's
interest in expanding the country's existing international
airport at Ambouli. Nothing firm is on the table, but issues
of space will loom large in accommodating a second runway and
in revamping or rebuilding the existing terminal. Hawker
sees U.S. use of the airport as incurring some additional
cost for the airport. At least USD 1.2 million will be
required to purchase new fire engines to meet ICAO
regulations as a result of the airport's accommodation of the
U.S. C-5 "Galaxy" aircraft, according to Hawker. On the new
seaport under construction at Doraleh, Hawker said
clarification is needed from the U.S. Navy about the type and
size of vessels it wishes to moor at the new port. For now,
Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), under its subsidiary
Horizon, is not interested in accommodating the Navy's
largest vessels, due to structural capacity limits of the
Phase One oil terminal jetty. Hawker also used the occasion
of the Ambassador's call to again note that outstanding U.S.
military aircraft parking fees ostensibly accrued to Camp
Lemonier remain unsettled. End Summary.



--------------------------


The Future of the International Airport


--------------------------





2. (C) Ambassador asked Hawker where discussions were on the
possibility of a new international airport, or expanded
facility, for Djibouti. Hawker said the Government of
Djibouti wants to expand the current airport, but different
elements that would be involved in planning -- potential
private investors such as Djiboutian national Abdurrahman
Boreh, Defense which works with the U.S. and French military
presence at the airport, the Foreign Ministry, and the
Presidency --- are not coordinating with each other. If
there were coordination, Hawker opined, the current space
allotted to the U.S. and France for military use would not
have been provided. To build a new airport from scratch is an
entirely different matter, he said. "It's dreadfully
expensive." Hawker continued that Dubai International has
"great interest" in renovating or rebuilding the existing
terminal at the airport and possibly constructing a second
runway. There were discussions already about expanding the
terminal by 10 meters or so, he said, but was nixed as too
costly for the space gained. It would be better to build a
new terminal building. That, with a second runway, would of
course require more space than the airport currently has. The
U.S. company Black and Veatch is looking at possibilities,
but Hawker did not speculate on preliminary findings the
company may have made.



--------------------------


U.S. Naval Intent at Doraleh


--------------------------





3. (C) In a discussion of progress, from site manager ENOC's
perspective, in construction of the new Doraleh Phase One oil
terminal facility, Hawker told Ambassador that it will be
important to get clarification from the U.S. Navy about what
would be the largest oil supply vessels it expected to bring
into Doraleh to pick up and deliver fuel to its vessels
offshore. Speaking frankly, he continued, he understood there
was interest on the U.S. Embassy's side in possible carrier
visits to port. Hawker said his company is not particularly
interested in servicing large vessels at its Phase I oil
terminal container facility. He explained that the jetty at
the new terminal could support a maximum of 80,000 dwt. A
tanker, for example, is mostly underwater, creating less
"windage", than an aircraft carrier, which is mostly above
water and has extensions. The jetty could not withstand the
pressure of such a vessel unless piles were designed and
manufactured differently. However, once Phase II of port
construction begins, which will include a container terminal,
Hawker said, it would not be so difficult for a large carrier
to come to shore. However, he said he did not expect the
container terminal to be operational until at least 2008.



--------------------------


The C-5 Increases Airport Expenses


--------------------------





4. (C) In a follow-on discussion of his office's interactions
with Camp Lemonier, Hawker said the U.S. military's use of
the airport's aircraft parking ramps necessitated some
"precision" in guidelines as to what would trigger a parking
charge to the U.S. military. He said he would raise this
soon with the Camp as there was a difference of perspective,
for example, on what constituted "overnight" parking for U.S.
aircraft. It was important to collect these fees, Hawker
continued, because of the added expense accruing to the
airport of U.S. operation of C-5 aircraft in and out of
Djibouti. Hawker explained that under present ICAO
guidelines, Djibouti qualifies for "Category 7" firefighting
equipment. Categories are defined in terms of the length and
fuselage width of the aircraft operating out of the airport.
These categories dictate the water capacity the engine is
obliged to transport, among other requirements. The entry
and exit of U.S. C-5s (what Hawker termed "Galaxy" aircraft),
increases that requirement to "Category 9." Thus new engines
are needed. He estimated the cost at USD 600,000 each for
the two that Ambouli airport would require. Hawker did not
explicitly state that he wanted the U.S. to help foot the
bill for the new engines. However, he reiterated that the
long-standing issue of sizable outstanding parking arrears
attributed to Camp Lemonier has still not been resolved.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





5. (C) Hawker, a UK national with links to the UAE and
Djibouti, and with his vantage point grounded in the airport,
is in a position to keep a firm finger on the commercial
pulse of Djibouti. He is generally well-informed and has not
been reluctant to share his insight with the Embassy. He
continues to work the airport's specific issues of concern on
the U.S. military side directly with Camp Lemonier, as
Ambassador encourages. End comment.
RAGSDALE