The FAA has downgraded Costa Rica’s civil aviation authority
to a Category 2 rating, saying that a recent assessment revealed the agency
doesn’t comply with international safety standards.
The decision means that Costa Rican airlines cannot add
service to the U.S but can continue existing operations. It does not apply to
U.S. airlines that service Costa Rica or to airlines based in other countries
that offer flights to the U.S from Costa Rica.
At present, Volaris Costa Rica is the only Costa Rican
carrier serving the U.S. It flies one-stop routes from San Jose to Los Angeles,
Washington Dulles and New York JFK via San Salvador.
Costa Rica had held a Category 1 FAA rating since 1996.
The FAA conducted its latest in-country reassessment of
Costa Rica's civil aviation authority in October 2018 and met with the
authority in February to discuss the results. The assessments are conducted
under standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is
the aviation body of the United Nations.
In a statement to the Costa Rica-based English-language Tico
Times, the Costa Rica's aviation authority said it is working on a corrective
action plan to restore Category 1 status.