Thursday, August 13, 2015

SoCal Bizav Operators Hail New VNY Customs Office

A celebration of the return of international clearance services for flights to Southern California was held earlier today at Van Nuys Airport. Before the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) facility opened at Van Nuys (VNY/KVNY) on May 21, pilots had to fly to Los Angeles International for clearance, then reposition. To use the new facility, operators must pay user fees to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which then pays CPB to cover costs of operating and staffing the new service.

FBO Signature Flight Support advanced about $225,000 to build the new 1,528-sq-ft facility, which is part of the Signature West FBO. Inside, the new CPB facility includes an interview room, inspection room, office space and security features. The celebration was attended by Maria Sastre, president and COO of Signature Flight Support; LAWA’s new executive director Deborah Flint; U.S. members of Congress Tony C├írdenas and Brad Sherman; Los Angeles city councilwoman Nury Martinez; and Anne Maricich, CPB acting director of field operations.

Local operators and pilots are happy to see international clearance services return to Van Nuys, eight years after it was removed from local airports. “We’re pretty fired up about that,” said Jason Middleton, CEO of Camarillo-based charter operator Silver Air, which flies international trips in large-cabin Gulfstreams.

(Matt Thurber - AINOnline News)

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