Nicaraguan Air Safety and Control Upgraded to Highest Rating by FAA

Posted by Adam McGeehan on Oct 23, 2015 6:05:03 PM

This past week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upgraded Nicaragua’s air safety and traffic control rating to Category 1. This is the highest rating that the FAA has for nations. The upgrade is the result of two evaluations made by the FAA earlier this year, the first in June and the second in September.

The status of a Category 1 rating means that the Republic of Nicaragua complies with international safety standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 


As a result of this new rating, Nicaraguan air carriers will be allowed to expand their services to the United States. Specifically, they will be allowed to secure the requisite FAA and DOT authority, as well as codeshare with US carriers. 

Air service is already quite frequent between the United States and Nicaragua. There are currently several airlines which run daily flights to the Nicaraguan capital of Managua from such major American hubs as Miami, Houston and Atlanta. American Airlines alone runs 3 daily flights between Miami and Managua, with seasonal service from Dallas/Fort Worth as well. With this new Category 1 rating, air service between Nicaragua and the US will become even more frequent.

Increased air traffic will result in more service, which will in turn result in more competition, leading to lower prices. Air travel between Nicaragua and the US is already fairly cheap, with most flights under $500 round trip. Prices earlier this month were as low as $180 from Houston. 


Nicaragua has become a major Central American tourist destination in recent years. The “land of lakes and volcanoes” has much to offer North Americans looking to get away for a bit.

The country's beautiful beaches are some of the most well preserved in the region. Nicaragua is home to a wide array of geographic zones, such as mountains, volcanoes, forests, lakes and plains. Ometepe, an island in the vast Lake Nicaragua formed by the two volcanoes of Maderas and Concepción, is a popular destination for hiking and exploring nature. On the shores of Lake Nicaragua, the historic colonial town of Granada is a must-see for anyone interested in colonial architecture, specifically cathedrals. Nicaragua’s capital city of Managua is a major hub of fine dining, culture and the arts, and historic buildings and sites.

Significantly lower consumer prices and a favorable exchange rate with the US dollar makes a trip to Nicaragua extremely affordable. Restaurant prices are over 50% lower than what they would be for a comparable meal in the US. Other goods, such as a ticket to the cinema or clothing, are equally inexpensive.

With the recent upgrade of Nicaragua’s air security and control to Category 1, it will soon become even easier and cheaper than it already is to visit this magnificent country. With so much to offer, you’ll want to get on a plane as soon as possible to visit Nicaragua.

Want to learn more about interesting sites to visit in Nicaragua? Read the ‘Interesting Places’ article we have written here:

Adam McGeehan

Written by Adam McGeehan

Adam is a recent graduate of Allegheny College. There he majored in Economics with a minor in Spanish. He has always been interested in traveling abroad and is thrilled to have recently taken up residence in Managua, Nicaragua to work as an intern for ECI Development. He is excited to take in all of the culture of this wondrous nation.

Topics: Transportation in Nicaragua