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08ASHGABAT1194 2008-09-09 12:38:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ashgabat
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1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for public Internet.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Representatives of Ashgabat Airport have
presented a newly reworked bill for use by air crews using airport
services in Ashgabat. The new bill does not reflect a charge for
Air Navigation fees. This is a solution that meets the needs of
both sides. END SUMMARY.


3. (SBU) Previously, AVCARD, the U.S. contractor for flight support
services in Turkmenistan, received two bills from the airport. One
of these bills reflected charges for fuel and a fee for fuel
handling. That bill remains unchanged. The second bill previously
reflected charges for landing, air navigation, security, handling,
and an additional payment. The payment for air navigation fees is a
violation of U.S. policy. Based on internal reviews, the United
States decided to cease payment of air navigation fees as on July 1,
2008, a date which has been extended to September 30, 2008 to
facilitate negotiations with Turkmen airport officials.


4. (SBU) Turkmen airport officials have presented a new second bill,
which reflects only a charge titled "Air company infrastructure
charge." Since the new bill does not reflect a charge of air
navigation fees, this bill seems to meet the US requirement not to
pay air navigation fees, and also meets Turkmen billing

5. (SBU) U.S. air crews should start seeing the new bill soon,
certainly ahead of the September 30, 2008 deadline for U.S. payment
of air navigation fees. This should resolve the current issue over
air navigation fees being charged to U.S. military air crews.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: From the beginning, the Turkmen approach during
the entire discussion of air navigation fees has been a pragmatic
one. They charge other countries air navigation fees and receive
them. Although the United States decided (suddenly, from their
point of view) to no longer pay, the approach has been to find a
solution that worked for both sides. In the end, it seems the money
was the key part for the Turkmen. Once the United States position
was clearly outlined and it was clear we would continue to pay for
use of the airport, the Turkmen were flexible enough to implement a
solution that meets our concerns. END COMMENT.