The Ambassador in Colombia (Wiley) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 21—9:59 a.m.]
A–85. Reference is made to the Department’s airgram A–37 of February 1,47 expressing the willingness of the Civil Aeronautics Administration [Page 667] to send a mission of three civil aviation experts to Colombia to make a preliminary survey of requirements in the field of civil aviation.
This question has been discussed with the Minister of War48 who took it up personally wtih the President.49 The Minister subsequently informed the Embassy that the Colombian government would be most pleased to have such a mission come to Colombia at the present time, as it is realized that many serious problems now confront the country in the development of civil aviation.
One of the principle problems, at this moment, is the construction of adequate airports and the regulation of airports to prevent private owners of fields from obstructing the development of air traffic. Also, the project is still pending for construction of a modern, new, international airport at Bogotá capable of handling large airplanes. The Minister of War expressed particular interest that one of the three members of the mission be an expert on airport selection and construction. The Embassy fully concurs in this idea and considers it important for one of the mission to be an authority on this subject.
After the above conversations with the Minister of War, the Embassy is confirming the proposal of an American mission in writing and it is expected that a prompt reply will be received from the government extending the invitation. Unless informed to the contrary, the Department may assume that the official invitation has been duly received by the Embassy.
It would be appreciated if the Department would inform the Embassy when the mission is expected to arrive.50 In view of the urgency of many of Colombia’s problems, it would be advisable for it to come as soon as possible.