April 30, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Pilots planning to fly general aviation aircraft to Costa Rica through May 7 should check carefully for flight restrictions in effect in connection with a scheduled visit by President Barack Obama and other leaders.
Rick Gardner of Caribbean Sky Tours, AOPA’s authorized representative for the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, said that during the trip only the Limon, Costa Rica airport, on the Caribbean coast, would remain unrestricted by the president's arrival.
“Unfortunately, Limon does not have the infrastructure to handle any significant volume of traffic and has very limited parking ramp available. Therefore, Costa Rica has essentially shut its doors to General Aviation,” Gardner said in an advisory to clients.
AOPA Manager of Security Tom Zecha urged pilots to check carefully on the status of the “substantial” restrictions on Costa Rica’s general aviation operations. “In a place like Costa Rica, general aviation is vitally important in an environment of jungle and mountainous terrain that makes travel by ground transportation difficult and painstakingly slow,” he said.
Complicating planning for pilots as of April 30 was that not all notams about flight restrictions had been published, leaving Gardner’s staff to gather information about airport restrictions from agents and local authorities.
Obama’s visit to Mexico and Costa Rica May 2 to 4 “will be an important chance to discuss our collective efforts to promote economic growth and development in Central America and our ongoing collaboration on citizen security,” said a White House press statement issued about the trip in March. In Costa Rica, he was to meet with leaders from Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, the White House said.
History abounds at San Marcos, Texas, where the Commemorative Air Force has a hangar full of warbirds and a museum with Doolittle Raider artifacts.
Alaska seaplane pilots will gather at Lake Hood April 26 for a day of free seminars, briefings, and conversation to kick off the season.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>