Monday, June 07, 2004

The Bout contracts: slight return

I recently read up some useful information on how to interpret the designations of those fuel contracts for Viktor Bout's airlines. According to the DESC website, a DoDAAC beginning with "T" is one used to supply a charter or contractor on US Government service, or aircraft (or anything else) belonging to a foreign government when an agreement between the governments concerned exists. Basically, issuing a purchase agreement means that the fuel can be supplied reimbursably - that is, against future settlement by the company or organisation concerned rather than in cash. Now, the rules given show various examples of situations that might have offered a legitimate explanation for the deals. For example, fuel might be sold for cash to some other categories during a fuel shortage, provided that the need was essential, other sources had failed and the sale would not affect military readiness. Aircraft forced to land in emergency might be refuelled sufficiently to reach another source in some cases.

But the existence of the "T" agreement kiboshes these. This shows that regular arrangements to fuel up the aircraft had been made. The "T" indicates a non-Department of Defense customer. The "B" indicates a commercial customer. The "TC", by comparison to others, seems to indicate the UAE. The two digits clearly identify the individual contract. Which, as the deals are TBTCs 01-03, shows clearly that this was deliberate and lasting.

We still await an explanation.

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