11.19.09

SCHUMER AND ARCURI URGE U.S. CUSTOMS TO PROVIDE AIRPORT WITH FULL TIME CUSTOMS AGENT TO PROCESS MORE FLIGHTS, BOOST ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF AIRPORT

Designating Griffiss as "User Fee Airport" Would Enable Them to Hire a Full Time Customs Agent to Accommodate More International and Military Flights, Greatly Expanding Service and Providing Economic Boost to RegionCurrently, Griffiss Must Request Customs Agent from Syracuse Hancock to Process International Flights, Severely Limiting Number of International Flights That Can be ScheduledIn Letter, Schumer and Arcuri Urge CBP to Approve Application to Provide Expanded Serv

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Michael Arcuri today urged Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to approve an application from Griffiss International Airport to become a "User Fee Airport." Approval of the application would enable the airport to hire a full time CBP agent for processing international flights and their passengers and cargo. Currently, if an international flight is scheduled to arrive at Griffiss, the airport must submit a request for a customs agent from Syracuse Hancock International to process the flight. Approval of Griffiss' application would permit the airport to hire a full time customs agent, significantly increasing the number of international flights that the airport could process.

The Federal Aviation Administration has already approved the construction of an airport terminal building, additional fuel storage and service facilities but the airport still requires approval from the CPB in order to take advantage of the economic boost increased international service could bring to the region. Today, Schumer and Arcuri wrote to the CBP urging them to approve the airport's application to become a User Fee Airport.

"Griffiss can be an engine of economic growth for the Oneida County area and allowing Griffiss to hire an additional customs agent is a no brainer," Schumer said. "It will allow the airport to process more flights and passengers, and live up to its potential as a force for regional economic development."

"Allowing Griffiss the opportunity to accommodate more international and military flights is a great benefit to the airport and the surrounding area economically," Arcuri said.   "The addition of a U.S. Customs agent at Griffiss makes sense across the board and I offer my continued support to this effort."

A User Fee Airport is a small airport which has been approved by the Commissioner of CBP to receive, for a fee, the services of a CBP officer for the processing of aircraft entering the United States and their passengers and cargo.

Griffiss Airport is located one mile east of the central business district of Rome and serves corporate business, governmental, and general aviation. Recently the airport has experienced increased demand for international and military flights but has been unable to accommodate these requests due to the lack of a permanent customs agent. As it stands now, when an international flight is arriving at Griffiss, the airport has to request that a customs agent from Syracuse Hancock International comes to the airport to process the flight and its cargo and passengers. This method is a limiting factor for the airport as it prevents them from providing more service for Oneida County even though they have the resources and facilities to accommodate an increased flight schedule.

 

Earlier this year, Senator Schumer and Rep. Arcuri secured FAA clearance for Oneida County to continue planning and development on a new terminal building and fuel storage facility at Griffiss. These new facilities would enable Griffiss to provide enhanced flight service. Approval of the User Fee application would allow Griffis to take the next step toward expanded international service, a move that would bring an economic boost to the Mohawk Valley. 

 

In an effort to secure a full time customs agent for Griffiss Airport, Schumer and Arcuri wrote to Jayson P. Ahern, Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, asking him to support Oneida County in its efforts to expand its international and military flight service in the region.

In the letter they wrote, "We urge you and your staff to look closely at this application.  We believe once it is approved it will have a positive rippleeffect on Rome and the entire Mohawk Valley region for many years to come."

 

November 19, 2009

tion

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington DC 20229

Dear Commissioner Allen,

We write to support Oneida County in their application process to become a "User Fee Airport" at Griffiss International Airport, located in Rome, New York.  A User Fee Airport is a small airport which has been approved by the Commissioner of CBP to receive, for a fee, the services of a CBP officer for the processing of aircraft entering the United States and their passengers and cargo.  Currently, every time an international flight lands at Griffiss, the airport has to bring in a customs officer from Syracuse.  Griffiss is situated in the heart of Oneida County and is a prime location for military flights and personnel to be processed as they travel inbound and outbound of the United States.

The approval of this application will be the start of an economic boost to the Mohawk Valley, which has experienced a turbulent period in recent years.  Oneida County is committed to improving all sectors of the Griffiss campus. This complex encompasses a thriving business and Technology Park and invaluable Federal and State defense operations, altogether providing a vital, positive impact on the region.  The previous County Airport, located in Oriskany, had the "Port of Entry" designation allowing military and other flights to be routed through the site.  A Customs and Border Protection presence at Griffiss Airport would bring the potential for many more flights and increased use of the facility.

Again, we support Oneida County in this effort and urge you and your staff to look closely at this application.  We believe once it is approved it will have a positive rippleeffect on Rome and the entire Mohawk Valley region for many years to come.

Sincerely,

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer



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