Feb. 21, 2019
A new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility recently opened at Martin County Airport/Witham Field (SUA) in Stuart, FL, a move that provides new customs clearing options on Florida’s busy east coast.
David Smith, general manager of Atlantic Aviation at Stuart, explained in the past, many users of the airport would clear customs at Treasure Coast International Airport (FPR) in Fort Pierce or Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in West Palm Beach. They would then reposition to Stuart, or leave the aircraft at the clearance airport and drive to their final destination.
“Stuart has become very popular during presidential TFRs,” said Smith. “Atlantic has built new hangars and ramp space and is remodeling its terminal. Stuart is also the closest airport to Jupiter island and Sailfish Point.”
The new customs facility will be open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Fees for services range from $30 for single-engine piston aircraft to $500 for heavy jets. After-hours services and international garbage disposal are available for additional fees.
Pilots should verify arrival procedures with their FBO prior to the flight. For example, due to temporary space limitations, Atlantic Aviation-bound jet aircraft will taxi in to the designated customs area, clear customs, then be towed to Atlantic Aviation for parking. Piston aircraft will taxi in to the designated customs area, clear customs and taxi to the FBO of their choice for parking.
In addition to clearing aircraft and pilots on in-bound international flights, the intermodal facility is capable of clearing other international travelers including boaters and visitors to the region.
The facility, nine years in development, was funded through an 80/20 grant partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation Aviation (Multimodal) Division and the Airport Enterprise Fund. Operations will be supported through user fees.
“NBAA applauds CBP, the Florida Department of Transportation Aviation Division and the Airport Enterprise Fund for their efforts to build this facility,” said Sarah Wolf, CAM and NBAA’s senior manager of security and facilitation. “The ability to clear customs at or near the intended destination improves safety and reduces traffic by eliminating the need for a repositioning leg. We also know Customs availability contributes to the economic development of a region by attracting new business and visitors.”