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Clearing Customs - Small Airports

Wed Dec 18, 2002 5:04 pm

Quick question-

I have noticed that there are quite a few small airports, as well as many "general aviation" airports (Denver Centennial, Brown Municipal, etc.), and was wondering if it would be possible for commercial flights such as the same type as Lufthansa's BBJ flights, to clear customs there on their way to their US destination (as well as take on additional fuel, if needed--kill two birds with one stone!).


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RE: Clearing Customs - Small Airports

Wed Dec 18, 2002 5:05 pm

Yes, and it happens often. BGR is a perfect example.
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RE: Clearing Customs - Small Airports

Thu Dec 19, 2002 1:57 am

While I am sure the FBO's at Brown (KSDM) would be more than happy to have commercial traffic come in to refuel I don't think it is really practical. Most muni airports like Brown just don't have the facilites for the numbers of people that would be transiting.

The procedure at Brown to clear customs is for the pilot to notify customs of an ETA or have the tower call ahead and arrange for an agent to meet the a/c. At shift change times for customs the a/c sometimes have to wait for an hour or so before an agent arrives. (Customs has an office at the airport, but no permanent staff there. They must come from a border crossing about 5 miles away.)

While Brown can handle the largest of A/C (it has hosted Concorde and the AN-224 in the distant past...) it is still a small airport with limited parking facilities for large jets.

To sum up I think that the cost of improvements to small airports just to handle a limited number of a/c that are only transiting through would be prohibitive.

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RE: Clearing Customs - Small Airports

Thu Dec 19, 2002 7:37 am

Only if the airport is certified to recieve scheduled air service. Denver Centennial is a General Aviation airport with a 75,000lb. weight limit and is not certified for scheduled air service. Only in emergency situtations, a scheduled flight can make a landing there.

Also, since it has a 75,000lb. weight limit. You can't have a fully loaded BBJ land there.

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran

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