Friday, February 02, 2018

Costa Rican airline Nature Air to resume operations

The National Directorate of Civil Aviation could be lifting the suspension of Nature Air flights by the end of this week.

Rolando Richmond, sub-director of Civil Aviation confirmed that Nature Air presented all necessary documentation since this past Monday where they show that they have made the necessary changes and adjustments and hired additional personnel to comply with the requirements of this entity, the documents and information are being analyzed and verified.

Back in January 11, Nature Air was notified by Civil Aviation of the suspension of its operations due to the fact that the company “didn’t have the structure to operate properly and guarantee the execution of the flight operations with safety;” in particular since they lost key personnel after the death of pilot Juan Manuel Retana (in the tragic plane crash of Dec.31) who was the Chief Trainer; the resignation of the Director of Operations, Jorge Valverde shortly after the crash, and the sick leave of Rodney Duran, Chief of Flight Security.

The news of the suspension came just 11 days after the tragic airplane accident in which 10 US tourists lost their lives.

Nelson Vega, General Manager of Nature Air, assured in an interview with national news daily La Nacion, that the suspension has resulted in losses of over $1.2 million and therefore they hope to receive the green light to begin operating again by the end of this week.

According to statistics by Civil Aviation, Nature Air absorbs a 30% of the domestic flights market which represents an approximate 8000 travelers a month (data 2016), while SANSA takes 54.9% of the total travelers, and the rest of the passengers use other smaller companies.

Even though there is a strong possibility that the company will be able to offer their services again in the next few days, the investigation regarding statements made by the former Director of Operations Jorge Valverde in his letter of resignation where he makes reference to some irregularities in the operations of the company (the details have not been disclosed) continues.

Also, the investigation to find out the cause of the plane crash that occurred December 31st is still open, the Judicial Investigative Organism (OIJ) carried out three searches in the first days of January in the offices of Nature Air at the Juan Santamaria Airport and the Tobias BolaƱos Airport as well as in the offices of Civil Aviation in La Uruca to collect data related to the aircraft, the flight records, maintenance information and digital files. The engine recovered of the Cessna 208B Caravan was also sent to the manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC), and evidence was collected at the scene of the accident. 

Original article can be found here ➤

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