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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06DAKAR957
2006-04-20 13:24:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Dakar
Cable title:  

AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY

Tags:   EAIR  EAID  SG 
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VZCZCXRO9132
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #0957/01 1101324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201324Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4902
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0711
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 1696
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0074
RUEHMT/AMCONSUL MONTREAL 0061
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAKAR 000957 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EB/TRA/OTP, AF/EPS AND AF/W
STATE PLS PASS DOT FOR CONNIE HUNTER
BRUSSELS FOR FAA
MONTREAL FOR U.S. MISSION TO ICAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EAID SG
SUBJECT: AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY


DAKAR 00000957 001.2 OF 002




1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST: South African
Airlines begins daily flights from Johannesburg to
Washington Dulles via Dakar next month. Delta Air Lines
is scheduled to begin service from Atlanta through Dakar
to Johannesburg in December. Recent FAA and TSA safety
and security assessments underscore that Senegal is making
good progress toward FAA Category 1 status, one of our
Mission Performance Plan (MPP) goals. An FAA team found
that Senegal's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made
excellent progress since 2003 but does not possess the
technical wherewithal to do it alone. Finding and funding
technical assistance both pose challenges. As for
security, the perimeter fence at Dakar's international
airport must be repaired in spite of a desire to focus on
the new airport. The GOS must also follow through and
consent to having a perimeter vulnerability assessment
conducted by TSA at no cost to the GOS to determine the
airport's vulnerability to shoulder-fired weapons
(MANPADS). Embassy urges the Department to consult with
DOT to determine if the FAA should be the long-term
technical services provider while examining possible
funding sources. Please see paragraph 9 for additional
details of action request. END SUMMARY AND ACTION
REQUEST.

AVIATION SAFETY


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




2. (U) The Government of Senegal (GOS) has a strong
desire to achieve Category 1 status for its aviation
safety oversight program. FAA Category 1 status would
mean that Senegal is in compliance with the International
Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO's) international
standards and practices, and has effective safety
oversight of its aviation industry. Senegal's national
air carrier, Air Senegal International, or any air carrier
so designated by the Government of Senegal will, under the
Open Skies Agreement, be able to have direct flights to
the United States.



3. (U) To this end, the Government of Senegal (GOS), on a
reimbursable basis, has signed a technical assistance
agreement with the FAA. The GOS funded a visit by a FAA
Flight Standards Safety team in March 2006 to conduct a
Technical Review of the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA)
safety oversight program. The FAA team found while
Senegal's CAA had made excellent progress toward
compliance with international standards, there is still
much work to be done. The team gave the Government high
marks for the political will as evidenced by progress made
since the FAA's earlier visit in 2003. However, the CAA
must do more to implement the safety oversight program, in
such areas as training, developing technical guidance for
CAA inspectors and in issuing guidance for the aviation

industry. Improvement is also needed in the quality of
inspections, timely reporting of deficiencies, and in
taking appropriate enforcement action.



4. (SBU) Next Steps: There is recognition by all
concerned that the CAA does not possess the technical
wherewithal to do it alone in trying to reach FAA Category


1. Continuous technical assistance is needed and with
this need funding becomes a priority. Who will provide
the technical assistance? The preferred organization
would be the FAA. However, Embassy recognizes that the
FAA has a shortage of technical personnel within its
international program. Use of aviation consulting firms
is another approach, but historically these firms do not
deliver the best product. In the recent past Senegal's
CAA used a French consulting firm which exhausted all of
the funds donated by the World Bank, and delivered a
product Senegal could not use.



5. (SBU) Possible Sources for Funding: Boeing's
Representative in Dakar, Jan Labeeuw, has shown a keen
interest in Senegal reaching Category 1 because Air
Senegal International is a Boeing customer, and if Air
Senegal International has plans to fly to the U.S., the
air carrier will need to purchase additional long-range
aircraft. Boeing is currently assisting the Angola to
attain FAA Category 1, following the purchase of several
Boeing aircraft by TAAG, the Angolan air carrier. The
World Bank has previously funded Senegal's efforts towards
reaching compliance with international aviation safety

DAKAR 00000957 002.2 OF 002


standards. Now, that there seems to be renewed political
will by the GOS, the World Bank just may once again have
an interest.

AVIATION SECURITY


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




6. (U) The Department of Homeland Security Transportation
Security Administration's (TSA) representative and two
inspectors visited Dakar in March 2006 to conduct an
evaluation of Senegal's aviation security system. The
most significant finding was that the airport's security
fence is in a serious state of disrepair. Airport
officials stated that because the GOS is building a new
airport, there is resistance to spending funds in
maintaining Leopold Sedar Senghor (LSS) International
Airport. Meanwhile, international flights continue to
operate from LSS, therefore the Airport must be maintained
according to international standards.



7. (SBU) The GOS must follow through and consent to
having a perimeter vulnerability assessment conducted by
TSA at no cost to the GOS to determine the Airport's

SIPDIS
vulnerability to shoulder-fired weapons commonly referred
to as MANPADS.

NEW DELTA AND SOUTH AFRICAN SERVICES


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




8. (U) South African Airlines begins daily flights from
Johannesburg to Washington Dulles via Dakar next month.
Delta Air Lines is scheduled to begin service from Atlanta
through Dakar to Johannesburg in December 2006. The state
of security takes on added significance with the
introduction of operations by a U.S. air carrier.

ACTION REQUEST


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




9. (U) Embassy urges the Department to consult with DOT
to determine if the FAA should be the long-term technical
services provider. We further urge the Department to
explore the use of Safe Skies for Africa or World Bank
funding to support this needed technical assistance.

JACOBS