The plane is a King Air 250 type aircraft, which has the registration MSP-002 and was manufactured in 2018.
/ Ministry of Public Security courtesy

-Friday, December 6, 2019-

Government buys $7 million-plus
plane from the United States

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministry of Public Security, together with authorities of the U. S. Embassy, displayed Thursday the King Air 250 plane that was purchased by Costa Rica for the price of $7.5 million

According to the ministry, this aircraft has technological equipment for surveillance and patrolling. The craft was purchased with the budget of the National Air Surveillance Service, which is part of the ministry.

The US Embassy also announced the donation of $6 million, namely:

- $500,000 for aircraft maintenance.

- $4 million for pilot training jobs.

- $1.5 million for technical support to Costa Rican and purchase of spare parts.

"This is a King Air 250 type aircraft, which has the registration MSP-002 and was manufactured in 2018, with capacity for four passengers and has a flight autonomy of approximately five hours, which will depend on the altitude and speed at which you are working," said the ministry in its statement.

The plane can fly at 35,000 feet, is 13.36 meters long, 4.52 meters high and 17.65 meters wide.

According to the ministry, the Surveillance Service staff has already been trained to handle the aircraft and the technology  which it has installed.

The goal of having this aircraft with high technology is "to strengthen police, operational and preventive actions in favor of safety from the air, by sea and on land," said the ministry in its statement.

March 11, four donated UH-1st helicopters arrived in the country aboard a Boeing C-17 Globemaster.

The helicopters will be used in emergency care, humanitarian aid, transport of equipment and personnel to remote areas, preventive patrols and in maritime and air surveillance, said the ministry. The aircraft will also be integral tools in the fight against drug trafficking.

According to the ministry, the total value of this donation is $48 million. The price includes the four helicopters, their reconditioning, maintenance, spare parts and training for members of the Air Surveillance Service.

Each helicopters has a capacity for 13 people (three crew members and 10 passengers), two engines, reaches a maximum speed of 205 kilometers per hour and has a load capacity of 7,306 pounds with a coverage range of 182 nautical miles.

The helicopters are, for two years, in the charge of U.S. government. During this period, the government of Costa Rica, through the Air Surveillance Service, will assume the fuel costs.

In 2021 the helicopters will become the property of the government of Costa Rica, specifically under the Ministry of Public Security.

The helicopters and training for the Costa Rican pilots are part of the aerial training program of the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which has been in partnership with Costa Rica for 10 years.

Ambassador of the U.S. in Costa Rica, Ms. Sharon Day, said that this program is just one of the dozens of initiatives with which the U.S. government collaborates with Costa Rica on aspects of citizen security and strengthening the rule of law.

“Our assistance began long before the arrival of these helicopters and will continue long after the end of the two-year period," said Day. "We are not bringing these four helicopters to Costa Rica to wish them good luck with them. This is a holistic program, focused on taking the logistics, maintenance and administration to the next level that will support the long-term success of the SVA."

The secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Richard Glenn, said that the United States continues to invest heavily in Costa Rica’s security services because Costa Rica is a proven partner. “Year in and year out we see how effectively Costa Rica uses the tools and training the U.S. government provides. Costa Rica and the United States share a commitment to addressing the complex problems we face in this region.”

What other types of sophisticated equipment to fight against drug trafficking could the U. S. donate to Costa Rica?   
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