POSTED: June 28, 2011
On June 10, the Office of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border
Protection approved Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) as
meeting the criteria to provide flights between the United States and
Cuba. RSW was one of 12 airports in the United States to be added to the
authorized list that had previously included only three U.S. airports:
Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport and John
F. Kennedy International Airport.
"We appreciate the administration for designating Southwest Florida
International Airport as a gateway to Cuba," said Robert M. Ball,
A.A.E., executive director of the Lee County Port Authority. "This
authority will give the airport an opportunity to develop relationships
with approved aircraft operators and prepare for the future when flights
to Cuba are completely normalized."
The changes made by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2011,
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.
Southwest Florida International Airport served more than 7.5 million
passengers in 2010 and is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger
traffic. No ad valorem (property) taxes are used for airport operation
or construction. For more information, log onto www.flylcpa.com