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Universal first in with Costa Rica CAA-approved SMS
Universal Costa Rica threw itself straight into tackling SMS implementation when the country's CAA decreed new safety requirements. So it became the first handler in Central America to have a CAA-approved SMS.
Universal Costa Rica local safety and training coordinator Néstor Villaverde; Universal regional safety manager, Latin American and Caribbean Helmuth Álvarez; and Universal Costa Rica operations manager Jonathan Herrera.
Read this story in our July 2022 printed issue.

Universal Aviation Costa Rica recently became the first service provider or ground handler in Central America to earn an approved safety management system (SMS) from a civil aviation authority (CAA).

In December 2020, Costa Rica’s CAA announced an upcoming new aeronautical SMS requirement regulation for all service providers. The new requirement became official on 17 June, 2021 and required service providers to implement a CAA-approved SMS. Service providers had the option of beginning work on the SMS immediately and not waiting until the official June 2021 decree.

“We’re proud to become the first-ever service provider in Central America to implement a CAA-approved SMS,” says head of international safety Simon Wade. “Our Universal Aviation Costa Rica team is committed to safety and was very proactive in starting the SMS process immediately, and not waiting for the official decree.”

The Costa Rican CAA approved Universal Aviation Costa Rica’s SMS following the completion of four phases of SMS implementation and a final audit.

The two Costa Rica locations, Juan Santamaria International airport in San Jose and Daniel Oduber Quiro International airport in Liberia, have also become the latest Universal Aviation ground handling offices to earn accreditation under the IS-BAH programme.

“Moving forward, this SMS approval will also fortify our IS-BAH certification renewals,” adds Wade.

Universal Aviation, the worldwide ground support division of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., has more than 70 locations in more than 20 countries. Universal Aviation Costa Rica has two locations in San Jose and Liberia.

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