International travelers jetting into Sheltair’s private general aviation terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will now enter through a newly-renovated U.S. Customs federal inspection station.
Late Thursday, Sheltair, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and airport officials celebrated the completion of nearly $2 million in upgrades done to the 24-hour customs facility, considered one of the busiest for international flights in the nation.
Renovations included a new access ramp, expanded processing areas, enhanced security technology and an improved interior layout to more efficiently move passengers through customs, Sheltair said in a news release.
The private aviation development company runs 16 fixed-base operators at airports in Florida, New York and Georgia that provide fuel, ground handling and other services to owners and operators of corporate and leisure aircraft. Sheltair also builds and leases hangars and office space to aviation-related companies.
Modernization of the customs facility at Sheltair’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood base was needed to better equip it to serve the growing numbers of international travelers arriving on private and charter jets. It was originally built in 1988.
Officials from Sheltair, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood join in ribbon-cutting festivities to mark the completion of nearly $2 million in upgrades to its 24-hour general aviation customs facility. (Sheltair)
Last year, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood welcomed 53,754 general aviation passengers and crew and more than 13,000 aircraft requiring Customs clearance, according to Sheltair.
Customs and airport officials welcomed the facility’s improvements and overall enhancements of the passenger experience at the terminal.
“To fulfill its potential as an economic gateway for our region, [the airport] will continue to work with its partners to ensure it can meet current and future needs of the aviation community,” said Kent George, aviation director for Broward County, in a statement. “We are pleased by the speed, efficiency and professionalism that allowed this project to be completed on time and on budget.”
Separately Thursday, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood held a dedication ceremony for the new 79,500-square-foot terrazzo floor design in Terminal 3 Concourse F dubbed “Rainbow’s End.”
The public artwork — designed by artists David Griggs and Scott Parsons — drew inspiration from South Florida’s environment including the Everglades and Atlantic Ocean.