GREENVILLE: It’s been 4 years in the works, but the new U.S. Customs Office puts the “international” in the recently re-named Appleton International Airport.
Soon the office will be doing just what the sign inside the door says, ‘welcoming’ people into the United States.
“This facility will allow passengers to arrive from an international port direct into Appleton for the first time ever,” explained airport director Abe Weber.
The Appleton International Airport, which is actually located in Greenville, will open its U.S. Customs & Border Patrol facility Friday.
But don’t expect to use it for your next vacation. The customs office will be able to handle planes that carry 20 passengers or fewer.
“This facility will support general aviation, corporate aircraft, business aircraft…we’re expecting between 75 and 100 aircraft each year for the first year and then we’re looking to grow that every year beyond,” said Weber.
The customs addition cost Outagamie County $1.5 million. The plan is for the airport to generate the money to keep the office running by charging a user fee to those who land there.
The county’s executive told FOX 11 area businesses that have an international presence asked for this.
“That do business all across the globe. So we’re simply fulfilling a demand from our businesses community,” said County Executive Tom Nelson.
“You needed customs, you needed that international status at your airport to be able to support those businesses,” added Weber.
So why should you care if you’re not a business executive going abroad?
“This is one more reason for a business to expand in our community, or one more reason why a new business would look to come to the Fox Valley,” Nelson explained, meaning this could help keep the local economy healthy and even help it grow.