US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is to move to a new, higher-profile location at Tucson International Airport, Arizona.
The plan includes a US$1.8m renovation of the former Tucson Executive Terminal at the base of the decommissioned air traffic control tower. The facility has largely been unused since controllers moved to the new FAA tower on the west side of the airfield in September 2016.
The new location will benefit from improved visibility for aircraft arriving at Tucson, a designated US Port of Entry airport.
“Not only is this a better use of facilities and resources, it will give our arriving international passengers a better and more welcoming impression of Tucson and our airport,” said Danette Bewley, Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) president and CEO. “Because Tucson is a Port of Entry, it’s not uncommon for business leaders and other VIPs to land here to go through Customs, and our existing facility is outdated and not very inviting.”
CBP offices will also move to the new facility, meaning that those coming to the airport for Global Entry interviews should find it less congested than the current location, which requires parking in the airport terminal lot.
The TAA will pay for the renovation. The CBP requires the space be provided at no cost in terms of utilities, maintenance and repairs, and rent-free, which is typical for leases taken by federal governments at airports. The initial term is one year, with 19 successive automatic renewals at the option of the CBP, which can elect to terminate the least with six months’ notice.