New York's Fourth Airport Gets Customs

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New York City's "fourth" airport, Stewart International, is getting a temporary Customs and Border Protection facility as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey looks for ways to expand service. Stewart International is a former air base about 60 miles north of the city in the Hudson Valley. It has the runways to handle any size aircraft but airline service is limited to a few flights to mainly Northeast destinations. The Port Authority hopes the availability of Customs service will attract overseas charter service.

The Customs station will be set up in the current baggage claims area but plans call for a permanent facility by 2012. The Port Authority is already in discussions with charter operators with an eye to bringing shopping and spring break tourists to the city. The facility will only be staffed when flights are scheduled to arrive but could lead to a regularly staffed inspection station as traffic warrants.