Aug. 21, 2015

The new Customs and Border Patrol general aviation facility at Signature Flight Support on Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in California has only been open for approximately three months, but already it has processed hundreds of business travelers who would otherwise have been forced to enter the country through Los Angeles International Airport.

“In just 90 days or so, the new CBP facility at Van Nuys has accommodated 92 flights, processing 250 crew members and 400 passengers,” said NBAA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard. “There’s no doubt this facility was really needed.”

CBP now operates approximately 50 general-aviation processing facilities at airports all across the country, including recently opened stations at Signature Flight Support on Lambert St. Louis International Airport and Lane Aviation on Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, OH, which opened earlier this month.

“It takes the coordinated efforts of several people to open a CBP GA facility,” said NBAA Midwestern Regional Representative Bob Quinn, who said the Columbus facility came about, in part, through the efforts of industry leaders such as Steve Faber at Signature Flight Support and Mark Myers at Lane Aviation, as well as Greg Kulis, past chairman of the NBAA Security Council. “These installations also benefit from the active interest of state and congressional lawmakers,” Quinn noted.

At VNY and other airports hosting CBP processing facilities, Howard said the savings is tremendous in terms of time and resources.

“As aviators come into Southern California from other parts of the world, they do not have to go into LAX all the time, where they have to mix it up with the airliners” she pointed out. “This way, they come into Van Nuys and they get the services they need right there. They don’t have to reposition the aircraft after passing through Customs. That saves operational cycles, fuel, emissions and time.”

The approval process for the new CBP facility at VNY was sometimes arduous, Howard said, involving the Los Angeles World Airport board and even California Gov. Jerry Brown before the project was finalized. Nevertheless, the project brought together the aviation community and airport neighbors. Both, she noted, were in favor of the new facility.

“You had members of the city council and the local congressional delegation on hand for the opening to talk about how pleased they were to have this new facility,” Howard said, referring to the formal ceremony held on Aug. 17.

Howard said other service providers at VNY rallied behind the effort to locate the CBP processing facility at Signature. “Everyone is happy about it because in the long run, everyone benefits,” she said.