Lansing Capital City Airport Attracts New Business As International Port of Entry

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 customs inspectors.

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 next year.

"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 change.

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.

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