The Capital Region Airport Authority in Lansing reached an agreement with the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection that allows the airport to be a designated port
of entry. The Authority says the designation will help
boost airport revenue and the regional economy.
According to excerpts from the article:
The "Port Lansing" status will allow the
airport to handle international passenger and cargo flights with on-site
The airport is slated to spend $220,000 for a temporary
customs facility, expected to be operational by May. It could cost $4 million
to remodel the airport terminal for the permanent facility, expected to open
"There's an opportunity there to open up a
door," said Robert Selig, the airport authority's executive director.
"As air service continues to decline with U.S.
major carriers, airports in Michigan, like Lansing, have to start
looking at other opportunities."
Passenger traffic at Capital City
fell to a near 20-year low last year, largely because of cuts by major carriers
Northwest Airlines Corp., Delta Air Lines Inc. and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines.
Selig hopes customs operations can draw flights to the
Caribbean or Mexico,
as well as those flown by Canadian carriers. Capital
City already is slated to host a
charter service to Ireland
later this year, although passengers are slated to be screened in Shannon, Ireland,
instead of in Lansing.
Airport officials are considering renaming the airport
"Capital Region International
Airport" to mark the
The airport authority board is expected to act on the new
name in April.
Airport and economic development officials think the
"port" designation also could lead to more jobs and business in the Lansing region.
Read the entire article here.