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Customs Federal Inspection Station planned for Griffiss

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Customs Border Patrol Federal Inspection Station is on track to come to Griffiss International Airport. The Oneida County Airport Committee met Wednesday to approve a $300,000 state grant to help pay for the new facility.

Currently any planes coming from overseas, Canada or Mexico have to stop somewhere else first before Griffiss. With there own manned Customs Inspection Station the planes wouldn't have to do that which Airport Commissioner Dick Giffords says would be a big benefit to the airport's current customers and also help attract future business.

"You can imagine what a 747 burns on take off in terms of fuel so if they land in Rochester, Buffalo, somewhere in Pennsylvania, Syracuse, maybe and they go through their facilities and take off again to come here as their final destination they've burned all that fuel just to get here," said Giffords.

Giffords says the project is estimated at $1.7 million. The $300,000 state grant helps take a large part of the burden off of the Oneida County.

Chairman of the Airport Committee Legislator David Wood explained how the federal inspection station would help Griffiss's companies compete in the globally.

"One of our companies does a lot of work with Air Canada, those Air Canada jets have to stop somewhere else as they come into the U.S. for customs inspections, if they can come striaght here it makes Air Canada more likely to do business with Premiere," said Legislator Wood. "That's important because we've got to do everything we can to give the companies that are located here the advantages that they need to compete in the global scale."

The grant now moves on to be approved by the Ways and Means committee, the full Oneida County Legislature will then need to accept the money.

The Customs Inspection Station is expected to be completed by early 2014.

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