LOVELAND — The subject of a proposed new customs house at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport may soon be before local city councils.
At its monthly meeting on June 16, the NCRA commission asked staff to start seriously exploring the plan in preparation for a future vote on the matter.
Presenters at the commission meeting spoke about the importance of adding a US Customs and Border Protection office to provide services to companies doing business internationally. Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt, who sits on the board, was enthusiastic about adding a customs office to the airport.
“I don’t see how we can’t do that,” Arndt said.
The customs office was proposed by the staff of Discovery Air Charter Inc., with the idea of working with the airport in a public-private partnership. Discovery Air has already allocated space to house the office, which could reduce the project’s investment costs. The partnership is proposed for a period of five years, after which the project will either stand alone or be abandoned.
The funds required for the customs office represent approximately 13% of the airport’s annual operating budget, or $200,000 annually. The funds would go to the salaries of customs officers.
Currently, local businesses must clear customs at other airports before bringing international flights into the region.
The commission also asked staff to produce more information on land plots to determine areas suitable for development. The airport hopes to attract more external partners and aims to develop new T-hangars to store private planes.
The audit carried out for the airport’s financial statements for 2021 was also discussed during the meeting. The committee voted unanimously to accept the audit. The committee also voted unanimously to open a new Business Services Technician position to ease the workload for employees.
Two agenda items were deferred to later meetings, the report on the business relief program and the opportunity for commissioners to bring in new business.
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