Customs Service Has Solid Start At Naples Airport
Jun 02, 2011 03:48 PM
U.S. Customs and Border Protection cleared 183 aircraft through the new customs facility at Naples (Fla.) Municipal Airport during its first four months of operation, according to a statement from the airport.
Many of the aircraft were corporate planes based at the airport, and all but six of the flights were headed to Naples, rather than other destinations. The facility was designed to save time and fuel for local pilots returning from overseas trips; they can fly directly into Naples, avoiding an extra stop and a possible wait at busier customs facilities.
“We’ve seen a higher number of flights originating from Canada than we expected, but most flights are coming from the Caribbean.” said Ryan Frost, director of airport operations.
The customs facility opened Dec. 30, 2010, and is staffed from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. seven days a week. Pilots pay for the service; fees range from $50 to $400, based on the size of the aircraft. As a service to the community, the airport authority covers remaining costs with airport operating revenue.
The 4,142-square-foot customs facility building includes a passenger-waiting area, offices, an interview room, a search-hold area and locker room.
“We were able to build and open the facility in less than a year, a far shorter time than usually required,” said Frost.
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