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Authorities cite ‘helpful and effective’ meetings with FAA as Costa Rica seeks to restore status

Costa Rican authorities on Wednesday reported “helpful and effective meetings” with the Federal Aviation Administration as the country takes steps to restore its Category 1 rating.

The Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and other Costa Rican representatives met with the FAA in Washington, D.C. from June 10-12.

DGAC said in a statement that the FAA will provide “technical assistance” to expedite Costa Rica’s return to Category 1 status.

The FAA also signed an agreement with the Central American Air Navigation Services Corporation (COCESNA) to offer “specialized advice” to Costa Rica as part of a corrective plan that will include additional visits with the U.S. agency.

“This includes the support for Costa Rica in all terms from the FAA,” said Guillermo Hoppe, DGAC’s director.

The FAA’s partnership with COCESNA will aid all of Central America, a DGAC statement said, because it will allow for increased assistance from the U.S. agency and access to grants for personnel training.

A Category 2 rating means Costa Rican air carriers “cannot initiate new service and are restricted to current levels of any existing service to the United States while corrective actions are underway,” according to the FAA.

Costa Rica joins Bangladesh, Curacao, Ghana and Thailand as the only countries assigned a Category 2 rating under the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.

DGAC did not provide a timeline for when Category 1 status could be restored.

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