China on Monday donated two Y12E aircraft to Costa Rica to support its security forces, a move hailed as heralding "a new era of aeronautics" in Coasta Rica by President Luis Guillermo Solis.
Solis presided over the aircraft's delivery ceremony at the headquarters of Aerial Surveillance Service (SVA) at the international airport of San Jose. The two planes will help form the SVA's fleet.
"The renovation of the country's aerial fleet with these two stupendous planes is the result of the excellent relations maintained by our countries," said Solis.
The SVA undertakes a variety of security tasks, including combating drug trafficking, and also carries out emergency and rescue missions in remote parts of the country, which the Chinese-built planes suit well as they are able to land on almost all types of terrains.
After receiving a miniature model of the plane, Solis thanked China for its generous donation to help upgrade the SVA.
"The decision by Costa Rica and China to forge strategic cooperation is fully underway," Solis said.
The president later told Xinhua the aircraft are "essential" and "give the country great mobility in attending to two major tasks on our agenda: protecting our national sovereignty in the fight against drug trafficking and attending to our people in times of catastrophes or disasters."
Prior to the handover ceremony, four SVA pilots and six Costa Rican mechanics traveled to China to learn about flying the 17-seat aircraft.
Chinese Ambassador to Costa Rica Song Yanbin said the planes symbolize the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Song added that several other mutually beneficial cooperation projects between the two countries are underway. Specifically, he said, a project to build a national stadium has been launched; the construction of Costa Rica's new National Police Academy has entered its final stage; and two other projects to improve the nation's transportation and water supply are also underway.