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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI1424 2004-11-07 09:27:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI THRILLED ABOUT RESULTS OF JOHANNESBURG

Tags:   EAIR ECON ASEC ETRD DJ 
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					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 001424 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/E, AF/RSA, AND EB

STATE PASS DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

STATE ALSO PASS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND FAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ECON ASEC ETRD DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI THRILLED ABOUT RESULTS OF JOHANNESBURG



1. (U) Summary: Djibouti's delegation to the Safe Skies for
Africa (SSFA) Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa,
October 25-28 returned with effusive praise of their
experience. Djiboutian aviation officials that attended
included Technical Advisor to the Minister of
Transportation, Mohamed Mahamoud, Chief of Air Traffic
Control, Ibrahim Moussa, and Director General of Djibouti
International Airport, David Hawker. Embassy Economic
Assistant also attended. Djibouti's delegation was
especially pleased by the official announcement of Djibouti
as a member of the Safe Skies program. Henceforth, the
Djiboutian aviation industry is now eligible to receive
technical assistance and equipment under the SSFA program.
Djibouti must now begin the agreements process with the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) in order to benefit from the
program. End Summary




2. (U) Djibouti's delegation to the October 25-28 Safe Skies
for Africa (SSFA) Conference in Johannesburg showed
continued interest in all subjects covered by SSFA program
speakers during the conference. Government of Djibouti (GOD)
officials were pleased with the opportunity to meet with
SSFA authorities as well as participants from other
countries in order to become familiar with the SSFA
program. They were very impressed by the benefits obtained
by other countries as a result of the SSFA program and hoped
for the same in Djibouti. These advantages include secure
airports, professionally trained staff, modern equipment,
increased trade, and more routes for national airlines. They
also noted the seriousness showed by countries like Kenya,
Cape Verde and Uganda in implementing the SSFA program, and
look forward to gaining similar experience.



3. (U) SSFA officials told Djibouti's representatives at the
Conference that during the course of the program, they would
closely cooperate with the Ministry of Transportation, the
Civil Aviation and the Airport. The Ministry of
Transportation is responsible for implementing and
coordinating government policy in road transportation, rail
transportation, air transportation, sea transportation and
weather forecast. Like most ministries in Djibouti, the
Ministry of Transportation lacks adequate financial and
human resources. This lack of funding will probably make any
commitment of resources from Djibouti difficult.



4. (U) Djibouti's International Airport was contracted to
Dubai Port International (DPI) for private management in
June 2002. During that time DPI has acquired some equipment
and trained several of its staff members. David Hawker,
Director General of the Airport expressed the desire to
integrate DPI training schedules with SSFA's training
agenda. SSFA indicated that it could provide training on
the airport existing equipment if the equipment U.S.
made. On the request for air navigation equipment made by
Ibrahim Moussa, Air Traffic Control Chief, SSFA officials
responded that funds are not sufficient to purchase them at
this time but second hand equipment could be obtained and
shipped at the expense of Djibouti International Airport if
agreeable to the airport.



5. (U) During bilateral talks with Djiboutian officials, DOT
and DHS both stressed that they will offer technical
assistance but it will be GOD responsibility to implement
the program. In addition, strong support at ministerial or
higher level is crucial for the success of the program.
SSFA is committed to help Djibouti meet ICAO standards,
promote airport security in the region to protect against
terrorism, provide safe and secure passengers and cargo, and
establish sound regional navigation and air traffic
services, Djibouti's representatives were told. In addition,
safe and secure travel is expected to lead to economic
benefits.



6. (U) Embassy briefed Almis Haid, Civil Aviation Director
who, at the last minute could not attend. Haid said that
SSFA program is a blessing for the Civil Aviation
Department, which has been completely neglected for many
years and does not play its proper supervisory role. The
Civil Aviation Department has a very small staff and an
insignificant operational budget. As for the National
Airport Security Program, a draft completed by a French
Consultant is available but has a lot of shortcomings
according to Haid. This draft is currently being reviewed by
the ICAO, which visited Djibouti last September to perform a
safety audit of Djibouti's sole international airport.



7. (U) The first step Djibouti needs to complete is the
signing of a technical assistance agreement with the FAA.
Then a SSFA team will visit Djibouti to complete a global
initial survey, which will produce an individual roadmap of
assistance to Djibouti under the SSFA program. SSFA
officials stressed that all their tasks will be in
consultation with the US Camp Lemonier in Djibouti in order
to avoid activities that could put the security of the camp
at risk. FAA will focus on safety and air navigation while
TSA will deal with the security aspects. TSA will need to

SIPDIS
sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the GOD in
order to run its activities in Djibouti. TSA handed a draft
MOU to the Djiboutian delegation for its review. No comment
has yet been provided by the Djiboutian government.



8. (U) Comment: Since the airport is privately run
government entity, post expects smooth follow-up and
implementation of the SSFA program. Hawker expressed
confidence that SSFA and DPI could closely work together to
enhance airport security and safety. Post believes that
actions from the Ministry of Transportation or the Civil
Aviation are likely to be slow, primarily due to
shortcomings in institutional organization and
coordination. However, we believe the political will and
legislative support needed can be mustered. Post hopes that
strong desire and initial efforts shown by Djiboutian
authorities at the Conference and immediately following will
persist throughout the program. End Comment.