810.20 Defense/7–1246

The Chargé in Costa Rica (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

No. 2126

Subject: United States Army Radio Range Station at Parrita and Use of Costa Rican Airports by United States Army Aircraft

[Here follows reference to an exchange of notes between the Embassy and the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, June 7 and July 12, 1943 (not printed), constituting an agreement on United States military installation and operation of a radio range and weather station at Parrita Point.]

On the basis of these notes, as well as Embassy Note 45 of December 15, 1941 and the reply of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Note 82–B of January 6, 1942 (which were enclosed with Embassy despatch No. 1956 of May 17, 19465), it would not appear [Page 684] to be strictly necessary to take up the question of the continuing operation of the Radio Range Station at Parrita unless the United States or Costa Rica should declare it to be unnecessary to the defense of the continent. However, as the War Department desires to continue the operation of this Radio Range indefinitely, it would seem appropriate to seek new authority for indefinite peacetime operation, provided the Department perceives no objection thereto. The Embassy is of the opinion that the Costa Rican Government would, if requested, promptly and willingly grant such authority.

With reference to landings by United States military aircraft on Costa Rican airports, authority for which was requested by General Crittenberger in his letter of April 5, 1946 to Ambassador Johnson (Enclosure No. 1 to despatch 1956),6 this authority was granted for indefinite peacetime operations by the Costa Rican government voluntarily (and without the solicitation of the Embassy) in its Foreign Office Note 1008–B of April 10, 1946, which was transmitted in English translation to the Department as Enclosure No. 4 to despatch No. 1857 of April 24, 1946.7 The original Spanish text of this note is enclosed herewith. The pertinent paragraph of this note (which was principally concerned with Civil Aviation) reads as follows:

“Concerning the flights of military planes of the United States Army, though this particular has not been requested, on a previous occasion this Ministry (Ministry of Public Security) decided that the landings would continue in accordance with those made during the war, that is, absolutely free, without the necessity of observing any requirements.”

In view of the above statement of the Costa Rican government, it would seem unnecessary to request authority, either at the present time or after the official end of the war, for United States Army aircraft to land in Costa Rica.

Respectfully yours,

Raleigh A. Gibson
  1. Notes and despatch not printed; this exchange of notes of December 15, 1941, and January 6, 1942, constituted an agreement for military cooperation between the United States and Costa Rica.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Neither printed.