Air Vigilance Service
There is officially no Air Force of Costa Rica; the only air wing in existence is attached to Public Forces of Costa Rica. Currently this unit, officially called Air Vigilance Service (Spanish:Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea), also called the Air Service (Servicio Aérea), does not operate armed military aircraft. The main air bases are located in three different points, San José (Base 2) being the main operations center. The aircraft and helicopters used by this unit include a few Cessna 210's & 206's, Piper PA-31T Cheyennes & PA-34 Senecas and Hughes 500 (369E). More recently, partly due to a joint agreement with the U.S., there have been successful operations on the war against drug trafficking mainly occurring in the coastal areas and at sea. Rescue operations, medical evacuation, and VIP transport services are part of daily missions. The prefix for most aircraft is MSP followed by a serial number.
As a result of the many operations against drug trafficking, a number of aircraft have been added to the asset list by means of confiscation. The U.S. has also donated aircraft, equipment and logistic support.
According to a new bill yet to be passed by the Legislative Assembly, the new designation for this police air wing would be Policia de Vigilancia Aérea (Air Vigilance Police).
Air Surveillance Service equipment
|Cessna 210||USA||Light transport aircraft||4|
|Cessna 206/Soloy||USA||Light transport aircraft||3|
|Piper PA-31T Cheyenne||USA||Light transport aircraft||2|
|Piper PA-34 Seneca||USA||Light transport aircraft||2|
|Piper PA-23 Aztec||USA||Light transport aircraft||1|
|Hughes 500||USA||Light attack helicopter||1|
|MD Helicopters MD 600||USA||Light attack helicopter||1|
|Beechcraft King Air||USA||Twin-turboprop||1|
|DHC-4 Caribou||Canada||Cargo aircraft||0|
|Harbin Y-12||China||Light transport aircraft||2|
- AVS overview at Scramble