Commissioners expected to approve a customs building at Cobb airport
by Jon Gillooly
October 09, 2012 01:39 AM | 2542 views | 3 3 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(MDJ Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan)
(MDJ Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan)
MARIETTA — County commissioners are expected to sign off this morning on the location and construction of a building to house U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Cobb County McCollum Field.

“It’s going to help economic development,” county chairman Tim Lee said. “It’s going to help our customer base and make our airport more attractive. Pilots and companies can now fly straight into our airport when coming from any country in which customs is required … which is obviously a positive for all of us.”

Under a deal signed in August, Atlanta Executive Jet Center, one of the fixed-base operators at McCollum, will reimburse the county for all expenses related to the customs service for up to 10 years.

The cost of the customs operation is estimated at $140,000 in the first year of operation, and $120,000 per year thereafter, said airport manager Karl Von Hagel.

“The $140,000 will not begin until the building is put into operation, which would be next spring,” he said.

Atlanta Executive Jet Center must also build a facility that meets the standards of U.S. Customs. The proposed 2,000-square-foot customs building, which will be located on the south apron, is estimated to cost $450,000.

Private and corporate jets flying from outside of the country have not been able to land at McCollum Field because it lacks a customs inspection office.

“Once we get the building constructed and approved by Customs and Border Patrol Agency and are assigned the inspector, then we will be able to handle international incoming flights,” Von Hagel said. “When we look at our economic development role and we look at the world, we are without a doubt becoming a global economy. When you aren’t able to provide the services that a global economy requires, you’re limiting yourselves.”

Von Hagel said a recent economic-impact study found that the airport contributes $112.4 million to the local economy each year, with 842 local jobs dependent on activity conducted at the airport.

There are about 225 aircraft based at McCollum Field, and about 186 takeoffs or landings every day, he said.
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2 Loud
October 09, 2012
The ignorant public will demand noise abatement once they realize how much noise and aircraft traffic will increase with a US Customs facility at Cobb. Why would a Fortune 500 exec land at Hartsfield when they can land 10 miles from their East Cobb home? They won't. The currect hours of aircraft operation will be routinely violated. This is not good for anyone who owns a home from the outer markers to the field on the flight path.

Pandora's box has been opened!
October 09, 2012
So now the Mexican drug cartels can bring their product directly to Cobb County.

Sounds like a solid economic development move to me.
October 09, 2012
So basically McCollum is now the new northside airport nobody wanted but here it is anyway shhhhh don't tell the locals.
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