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Costa Rica to begin work with FAA to recover Category 1 status

May 31, 2019

Costa Rican authorities will meet with the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) next month in an attempt to recuperate the country’s Category 1 airspace designation.

According to Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), the organization will convene with FAA representatives from June 10-12 in Washington, D.C.

“From the moment we were notified of the disqualification by the FAA, we accelerated this approach to achieve the requalification without delay and with the accompaniment of the aviation authorities of the United States,” said Guillermo Hoppe, DGAC’s General Director.

The FAA announced on May 13 that Costa Rica had been demoted to a Category 2 rating because it “does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards … based on a reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority.”

The press release suggested DGAC “is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures.”

The Category 2 designation does not prevent any foreign airlines from continuing or offering new routes to and from Costa Rica. However, it prevents Costa Rica-based airlines from establishing new service to the United States.

According to DGAC, the upcoming meeting with the FAA will help the organizations establish a roadmap for returning to a Category 1 rating. It will also give the Costa Rican authorities a forum to discuss “the actions that have been taken since the audit began.”

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