PIA Prepares New U.S. Customs Office
The Peoria International Airport is preparing to make the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office operational in the new international terminal.
The Metropolitan Airport Authority approved the U.S. Customs and Technology Agreement for it Wednesday.
Gene Olson is the Director of Airports. He says the agreement includes about $90,000 of equipment to meet the security standards required of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office. “The equipment list is basically all the IT and communications equipment that you’d need to run an office. So it’s telephones, computers, internet switches as well as the initial hook ups for a high-security T1 line, things like that.”
Purchasing the equipment is the last step before they can move in. Olson says, “right now the customs office is in the cargo building off of Smithville Road, and that office didn’t meet their standards. So we could have either tried to make then fit in an existing building or build a completely new structure.”
Because of that, Olson says it made sense to make it part of the new International Terminal Building. The Airport Authority also elected to built the space large enough it could one day move from a general aviation facility to commercial inspection service.
On the other hand, if they airport authority chose not to go ahead with the equipment purchase and agreement, the customs agent located at PIA would have immediately been moved to the federal building in downtown Peoria if not completely out of the area.
The new Customs office at the airport is expected to be up and running before the end of the year.