Argentina regains top airport category
Argentina's airports were raised to operational Category 1 yesterday by the United States' Federal Aviation Administration, a category Argentina lost in 2001 over safety and security failings.
The decision was announced yesterday in Government House after the US Ambassador to Argentina Lino Gutiérrez met President Néstor Kirchner, Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa, Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido and Defence Minister José Pampuro.
Bielsa described the measure as a "fortunate coincidence" since it comes only days before the start of the IV Summit of the Americas that is scheduled to take place in Mar del Plata November 4-5.
"This is excellent news for Argentina and the tourists that visit the country," because it means that the country "is a safe place to travel to" and has "the same security standards as the top travel destinations in the world," Gutiérrez said after the announcement.
At a joint press conference offered by Bielsa and Gutierrez, both officials pointed out that the measure will lead to "more flights and more routes" and "lower costs."
Operating under category 2 for the last four years has severely restricted airline traffic between the United States and Argentina as well as impacting on aviation costs such as leasing and insurance.
The new measure should lead to an increase in the number of destinations that Aerolineas Argentinas and other airlines operating out of Argentina can fly to in the US and also see a reciprocal increase in the number of carriers and flights out of the United States to Argentina.
Source: Buenos Aires Herald