THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2003
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Presidential Determination Regarding U.S. Assistance to
the Government of Colombia Airbridge Denial Program
The President has authorized the Department of State to resume assistance to Colombia in carrying out an "Airbridge Denial Program" against civil aircraft suspected of trafficking in illicit drugs. A previous program proved to be an effective tool in helping reduce the flow of illegal drugs through Colombia to the United States. This previous program was suspended in April 2001 after a tragic accident involving Peru's airbridge denial program resulted in the loss of innocent life. In granting this authorization, the President has determined that Colombia has put in place appropriate procedures to protect against loss of innocent life in connection with interdiction operations. The United States Department of State will take the lead in providing this assistance and will monitor operations to ensure strict adherence to established safety procedures.