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U.S. FAA downgrades Costa Rica air safety rating

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it had found Costa Rica does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization safety standards and reduced its rating to Category 2.

The new rating means Costa Ricas carriers can continue existing service to the United States but will not be allowed to establish new service to U.S. destinations.

The revised rating means the Central American country either lacks the laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority - the Direccion General de Aviacion Civil (DGAC) -- is deficient. The FAA did not elaborate. In 1996, Costa Rica was assigned a Category 1 rating. The FAA conducted an in-country reassessment of Costa Rica in October 2018, and had met with DGAC in February to discuss the results. DGAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by David Shepardson)