The FAA has returned Costa Rica's civil aviation authority to a Category 1 rating, meaning that it meets the highest international standards.
The agency made the move based upon assessments in 2020 and a January oversight meeting with the authority, called the Direccion General de Aviacion Civil (DGAC).
The FAA had downgraded the DGAC to a Category 2 ranking in May 2019. With the Category 2 standing, Costa Rican airlines could not add service to the U.S., though they could continue existing flights.
The large majority of countries that have locally based airlines flying to the U.S. have a Category 1 rating.
The FAA's assessments are conducted under standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is the aviation body of the United Nations.
With Costa Rica's return to Category 1, Costa Rican carriers can now add routes or launch U.S. service.
At present, Volaris Costa Rica is the only Costa Rican carrier serving the U.S.
Prior to 2019, Costa Rica had held a Category 1 FAA rating since 1996.