US eases Ireland’s flight restrictions

PROSPECTS for increased US-bound corporate air traffic through Dublin and Shannon airports received a major boost yesterday.

This follows the US Government easing restrictions in relation to pre-clearance facilities at Dublin and Shannon airports for US-bound passengers.

The easing of restrictions centres around radiation screening of aircraft by US officials, which will allow for a much quicker stop-over by the aircraft at Shannon and Dublin.

The pre-clearance of US bound passengers was introduced at Shannon in 2009 and at Dublin last year.

However, in the first full year, Shannon failed to attract a scheduled service based on its €21 million Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Welcoming the revised procedures by US authorities, Shannon Airport Director Mary Considine said that “this is a very important development for the airport”.

According to business development manager at Shannon airport, Joe Buckley: “This policy change essentially removes a very significant hurdle that was preventing Shannon from capitalising on business aviation opportunities arising from being the first airport in the world to offer full US pre-clearance.

He added: “Now that this stumbling block has been removed, we can start developing these unique facilities, which allows business jet passengers to pre-clear US customs and immigration at Shannon and then fly directly to over 200 airports without delay.”

“We are grateful to the US authorities for this change and, indeed, to the National Business Aviation Association for their efforts in this regard.”

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