May 15, 2019

Aviation Update: U.S. Regulator Takes Actions Affecting Air Service to Venezuela and Costa Rica

Holland & Knight Aviation Law Blog
Anita M. Mosner

U.S. transportation officials have taken two separate actions which will affect transportation between the United States and Latin America. These developments are summarized below:

Suspension of Air Transportation Service to and from Venezuela.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has just ordered the suspension of all air transport service between the U.S. and Venezuela. In announcing its action, DOT cited a finding that "[t]he Department of Homeland Security (DHS)" has concluded that "conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew traveling to or from that country, and that the public interest requires an immediate suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela."1 DOT has effectuated this ban by amending the Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity of U.S. air carriers and the Foreign Air Carrier Permit of Foreign Air Carriers to prohibit the provision of "foreign air transportation" between the U.S. and Venezuela.

Costa Rica Placed in FAA IASA Category 2.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administers the International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA), pursuant to which the FAA audits and assesses the safety oversight exercised by the homeland governments of foreign air carriers which serve the United States. Countries which the FAA finds to meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety oversight standards hold "Category 1" ratings under the program, and countries which fail to meet such standards are rated as "Category 2" under the program. The FAA last week issued a decision to move Costa Rica, which previously held a Category 1 IASA rating under the program, into Category 2. While Costa Rican airlines may continue to operate their existing services to and from the United States, they may not expand their services or add new aircraft to the U.S. operations specification until such time as the country is reassessed and is restored to Category 1 status.

See "Press Release – FAA Announces Safety Rating for Costa Rica," May 13, 2019.

For more information about these developments, please contact Anita Mosner.



1In Re: Suspension of Air Service to and from Venezuela, DOT Order 2019-5-5, Docket OST-2019-0072, May 14, 2019, found at

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