Chennault International Airport Establishes Foreign Clearance Capabilities
Partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilitates international air cargo arrivals
Chennault International Airport (CWF) in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enable regular clearance of select international aircraft.
The agreement allows for the clearance into the United States of foreign crews and air cargo utilizing the existing CBP staff based in Lake Charles.
The agreement also allows foreign maintenance-bound aircraft and crews to enter at Chennault — a potential benefit to existing and prospective MRO activity on the field.
Chennault staff will interface with U.S. Customs on behalf of industry partners to secure international clearances at Chennault and front the corresponding costs for the service.
U.S. Customs has agreed to respond accordingly to permit applicable international arrivals using its existing local resources.
“Formalizing this relationship with U.S. Customs ensures these foreign clearance capabilities,” said Chennault Executive Director Kevin Melton. “Our Gulf Coast location makes us an ideal airport for these foreign aircraft to enter the United States.”
Long an industry leader in commercial and military MRO work, Chennault — a former all-military airfield — seeks to add air cargo to its portfolio.
Establishing foreign clearance capabilities is among the steps it is taking to enable commercial flight activity. Chennault also completed $4 million air cargo facility that can be separately certified by CBP to receive international cargo.
Melton said Chennault is committed to working closely with the industry to enable facility certification efficiently.
“We appreciate the responsiveness of U.S. Customs in facilitating these important components of our air cargo initiative,” he said.
Chennault International Airport is an emerging aerospace hub near the mid-Gulf Coast. Its tenant partners employ 1,000 people in MRO work; high-end aircraft refinishing, including state-of-art painting and interiors; and non-aerospace manufacturing. For more information about Chennault and its incentives, visit chennault.org.