Costa Rica’s civil aviation authority is not in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards, and its air carriers will not be permitted to establish new flights to the United States, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says.
In a decision announced on Monday, the FAA said that it had assigned a Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating to Costa Rica — a designation meaning either that the country lacks the laws or regulations required for air carrier oversight “in accordance with minimum international standards” or that the civil aviation authority “is deficient in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.”
Although new service to U.S. airports by Costa Rican carriers will not be permitted, they may continue any existing service.
Costa Rica had held a Category 1 rating since 1996, signifying that its Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC) complied with ICAO safety oversight standards. In October 2018, the FAA conducted a new assessment under the IASA program, and officials discussed the results with the DGAC in February.
Under the program, the FAA evaluates civil aviation authorities in all countries with air carriers that conduct operations in the United States, participate in code-sharing agreements with U.S. partner airlines or that have applied to operate in the United States. The program examines whether the civil aviation authorities comply with ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.