Airport accepted first international arrival on Sunday
Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) announced this week that its new general aviation U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility is open for business and accepting international arrivals. Airport users can now fly into Gary from any destination in the world without having to stop at another airport to clear customs.
The U.S. CBP facility officially opened Thursday, October 4. Just three days later on Sunday, October 7, GYY welcomed its first international arrival, a Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft flying direct from Copenhagen, Denmark. GYY and CBP officials were on hand to welcome the premier arrival and clear aircraft passengers and crew through Customs, a process that took less than 30 minutes from the time the plan landed to full CBP clearance.
“The grand opening of the new general aviation customs facility opens the door to a whole new international market and services for the airport and its users. We are excited about the continued growth of the airport and the opportunities Customs at the airport will bring,” said GYY Authority Chairman Tim Fesko.
This is GYY’s latest service enhancement and another affirmation of the airport’s position as one of the region’s premier airports and the preferred airport for corporate and executive aircraft.
“This onsite CBP facility will allow our FBO customers to arrive directly from international locations, and continues to prove that the Gary Chicago International Airport is becoming the business aviation airport of choice in the Chicago area,” stated B. Coleman Aviation President John Girzadas.
In August, more than 100 business, aviation and community leaders and elected officials from around the region – including U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and City of Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson – participated in a ribbon cutting celebration for the facility, anticipating this weekend’s official opening.
“This new customs facility further improves our ability to compete with other major airports, while also enhancing our marketability to the corporate and general aviation community,” added Gary Jet Center President Lynn Eplawy.
The addition of the U.S. Customs and Border facility is the latest investment and major service enhancement in a series of capital improvements at the airport. Since GYY extended its main runway in 2014 to 8,859 feet – giving GYY the second longest runway in the region after O’Hare – the airport has experienced an increase in operations and usage by larger, heavier aircraft traveling to destinations further away. During this time, operations are up by more than 15 percent, fuel flowage revenue is up 82 percent, and revenue from landing fees is up by more than 140 percent.
Additionally, the airport’s private sector partners have invested more than $22 million into their own operations, opened three new 30,000 plus square foot aircraft hangars and have plans for more. Responding to increasing demand, the GYY Authority is also currently constructing an additional corporate hangar with expected completion in early spring, 2019.
CBP Instructions for Airport Users
The facility is an on-call General Aviation CBP facility. Pilots or flight departments are required to notify U.S. CBP officials at least 72 hours prior to arrival at GYY and an estimated time of arrival is required. Facility officials can be reached at 773-948-6330. All pilots and passengers must clear U.S. Customs and Immigration inspection upon entering the United States from a foreign country. The maximum number of crew and passengers per aircraft that will be allowed to clear customs is 20 individuals total. All user instructions and fees can be found at www.flygyy.com/us-customs-facility.