Costa Rican authorities on Thursday inaugurated a new airplane that will be utilized by the country’s Air Surveillance Service (SVA), a branch of the Public Security Ministry (MSP).
The Beechcraft King Air 250 aircraft was purchased largely through a $7.5 million investment from the SVA with significant support from the U.S. Government. The United States contributed $500,000 toward the cost of the aircraft and is providing an additional $5.5 million for ongoing training, support and maintenance.
The Air Surveillance Service conducts anti-drug trafficking missions, often in conjunction with the United States. It also transports food, medicine and emergency supplies during humanitarian missions.
“SVA staff were trained for the use of such technological equipment,” a Public Security Ministry statement reads. “This will come to strengthen police, operational and preventive actions in favor of safety from the air, by sea and on land.”
In 2017, the U.S. Embassy in San José gave Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry a $1 million donation for a separate aircraft, a King Air F90.
And in 2014, the U.S. Southern Command purchased a flight simulator to help train Costa Rica’s SVA pilots.
The King Air 250, registered as MSP-002, has a maximum range of 1,720 nautical miles, according to the manufacturer.