QCOSTARICA – The United States once again awarded Costa Rica the highest category in aviation, just under two years after losing it.
The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) received notification on Thursday, February 11, 2021, from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that Costa Rica complies with international safety standards and has been granted the highest international ranking, Category 1.
The FA’sA International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) focuses on a country’s ability to adhere to international aviation safety standards and recommended practices. The standards apply to regulators and are set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation.
“We commend the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of the Republic of Costa Rica’s demonstrated commitment toward effective safety oversight of Costa Rica’s aviation system,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
“This improvement in the rating will facilitate the attraction of air operators, for the benefit of our tourism industry and the economic recovery in our regions,” said Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado.
.@FAANews nos ha comunicado que Costa Rica recupera inmediatamente la calificación de categoría 1 de seguridad aérea, tras lograr cumplir con las normas de la @icao. Esto facilitará la atracción de operadores aéreos para beneficio del turismo y de nuestra economía.
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) February 11, 2021
MOPT Minister Méndez Mata indicated that the new FAA rating represents a boost for the country in the reactivation of the aeronautical industry, which in turn will have a positive impact on tourism and the national economy.
“We are extremely satisfied, we actually waited for this resolution for some time. We believe that if it had not been for the pandemic, all the audits could have been carried out months ago ”, explained Méndez.
Costa Rica received a Category 2 rating in May 2019 after it failed to comply with ICAO’s safety standards. A Category 2 IASA rating means the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards for safety matters, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures. A Category 2 rating permits carriers from a particular country to continue providing existing service to the United States, but they are not allowed to establish new routes.
The FAA itself has even issued a press release explaining that the Category 1 status announcement is based on the reassessments in 2020 and a January 2021 safety oversight meeting with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).
A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. Under Category 1 rating, properly authorized Costa Rican air carriers are permitted to serve the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers without limitation.