Under Category 1 rating, properly authorized Costa Rican air carriers are permitted to serve the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers without limitation.
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Published Friday, February 12, 2021

U.S. reinstates safety standards
top status to Costa Rica


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s, DOT, Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, announced that Costa Rica complies with international safety standards and has been granted the highest international ranking.

The Category 1 status announced is based on the reassessments in 2020 and a January 2021 safety oversight meeting with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGAC. This means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. Under Category 1 rating, properly authorized Costa Rican air carriers are permitted to serve the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers without limitation.

“We commend the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Costa Rica’s demonstrated commitment toward effective safety oversight of Costa Rica’s aviation system,” Steve Dickson, FAA Administrator said.



Costa Rica received a Category 2 rating in May 2019 after it failed to comply with ICAO’s safety standards. A Category 2 IASA rating means the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards for safety matters, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures. A Category 2 rating permits carriers from a particular country to continue providing existing service to the United States, but they are not allowed to establish new routes.

Through IASA, the FAA assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries whose air carriers have either applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public. The assessments are based on ICAO safety standards, they said in its statement.


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Have you felt unsafe arriving at any of the international airports in Costa Rica?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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