OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGO #0192/02 0720939
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 120939Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7294
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0993
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1783
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 4795
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4545
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8084
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5645
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1389
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 1458
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 0247
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3570
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1408
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 RANGOON 000192
STATE FOR EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, EEB/TRA, CA/OCS/ACS
PACOM FOR FPA
MONTREAL FOR ICAO REPRESENTATIVE
TREASURY FOR OASIA, OFAC
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2016
SUBJECT: AIR BAGAN SAFETY ISSUES UNCOVERED
* Missing Section 001 *
RANGOON 00000192 002.2 OF 002
prioritize safety issues. Additionally, the experts found
that while Air Bagan had the proper operations manuals, the
staff were not applying proper operations procedures during
and before flights.
--Safety - In addition to failing to report and document all
air incidents, the experts noted that Air Bagan did not have
a functional safety management system. They found neither
monitoring or oversight of corrective actions for air
incidents nor any recommendations on how to prevent safety
incidents. Immediately prior to the assessment, Air Bagan
had two safety incidents on November 3 involving two ATRs -
one plane had propeller problems that forced the plane to
return to Rangoon, while the other had a landing gear
malfunction during takeoff. Between November 3 and November
14, Air Bagan officials did not report the incidents to the
Civil Aviation authorities and failed to properly document
the incident and any actions taken.
--Maintenance - The experts found that Air Bagan did not have
an approved Maintenance Organization Certificate. According
to Civil Aviation authorities, Air Bagan can conduct line and
base maintenance for all ATR planes, but only line
maintenance for the Fokker 100 and A310s. The experts could
not confirm that all 130 maintenance staff were qualified to
work on these planes. Additionally, Air Bagan staff admitted
to the assessment team that obtaining spare parts had become
more difficult due to sanctions.
4. (C) The assessment team presented Air Bagan with its
findings, and Air Bagan staff noted they were working to
resolve many of the issues. The Total aviation assessment
team found no problems with Air Mandalay, Yangon Air, and
Myanmar Airways International's operations.
5. (C) Based on the information in Reftel, Embassy Rangoon
submitted on March 5 to CA a revised Country Specific
Information Sheet describing the February 19 Air Bagan crash
and their poor safety issues. On March 12, Post further
revised it to recommend against flying both Air Bagan and
state-owned Myanmar Airways due to serious concerns regarding
the airlines' ability to maintain their airplanes. We also
plan to revise our country clearance information to include
language recommending travelers not fly with Air Bagan when
traveling to Rangoon from Bangkok.
6. (C) In addition, we sent a diplomatic note to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport on
March 12, highlighting our concerns regarding the safety and
government oversight of air carriers. We requested a meeting
with the Minister of Transport to discuss our concerns.
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