Bolivia minister: country could face US aviation downgrade

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Bolivia's Defense Minister says the U.S. could downgrade the country's aviation safety rating because of irregularities that may have contributed to the crash of a chartered plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team.

Defense Minister Reymi Ferreri said Saturday that the approval of the plane's flight plan despite the route's distance exceeding the aircraft's fuel capacity points to a human failure that could lead to Bolivia being downgraded.

Bolivia in 2001 regained a category 1 rating from the Federal Aviation Administration after having lost the top status in 1994. If downgraded it would join only a handful of nations including Bangladesh and Thailand deemed as not meeting international aviation standards and could limit Bolivian carriers' ability to expand commercial service to the U.S.