Customs officials OK flights to Cuba from Southwest Florida International Airport
- Submitted by: manso
- Politics and Government
- 06 / 28 / 2011
Southwest Florida International Airport has met U.S. Customs and Border Protection criteria to provide flights between the United States and Cuba.
That makes it one of 15 airports in the country that now can serve as a gateway for direct flights from the United States to Cuba.
Until very recently, that distinction was held only by Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
However, that doesn’t mean any flights between here and Havana are planned at this time, said Bob Ball airports director. He announced the Customs decision at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Port Commissioners this afternoon.
In other business, county commissioners sitting as the port board tentatively OKd a $264.2 million budget for the county airports, for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. They will make the final call following public hearings on the entire county budget, in September.
Changes made by the Department of Homeland Security in January of this year modified the ban on travel to Cuba to allow for “purposeful” travel that includes passengers with close relatives in Cuba, those involved in medical and agriculture business or traveling for education and religious activities. General U.S. travel restrictions for tourism and trade with Cuba remain in place.