FAA Downgrades Costa Rica Air Safety Rating

May 14, 2019

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The US Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded Costa Rica’s air safety rating, saying it doesn’t comply with ICAO safety standards.

The FAA has assigned the Republic of Costa Rica a Category 2 rating based on a reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority.

The rating means the country “either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority… is deficient in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures,” the FAA said.

The lower rating permits Costa Rican airlines to continue operating existing services to the US, but doesn’t allow them to start new services.

Costa Rica was assigned an initial Category 1 rating in 1996, with the country’s aviation regulator, the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), complying with ICAO standards for aviation safety oversight.

The FAA subsequently conducted an in-country reassessment of Costa Rica in October 2018, and met the DGAC in February 2019 to discuss the results.

The US regulator said the assessments determine whether civil aviation authorities are meeting International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards, not FAA regulations.