US Pre-clearance for private jets at Shannon hugely significant – O’Dea
Shannon Airport is home to world’s first private jet pre-clearance facility
Statement: Minister Willie O’Dea TD
The opening up of Shannon Airport for pre-clearance for U.S. bound private aircraft is a hugely significant move for the mid-west region and a proud day for the Shannon Airport Authority as it is now home to the world’s first facility of this kind. It follows on from the introduction last August of the facility for commercial passengers which has been operating very successfully at the airport.
Crucially this facility is vital in terms of attracting inward investment into the region. I have been informed that already the interest shown by international influential business people in the pre-clearance private jet facility is phenomenal. This provides exciting business opportunities for the mid-west region which the Government and Shannon Airport Authority are actively promoting internationally. The next element will be on trying to secure pre-clearance for air freight cargo. I have raised this issue with the US Ambassador personally and I will meet with him shortly to advance negotiations.
I first met then US Secretary of State for Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in Dublin in 2007 to try to secure the pre-clearance deal. I met him again soon afterwards at Shannon airport to impress upon him the attraction of the airport and the mid-west region. I remained in regular contact with US officials to keep this deal progressing.
The potential for job creation and long-term economic and tourism benefits for Shannon and Ireland cannot be overstated. It took over a decade for the USA and Canada to open the CBP facilities in Canada – Ireland took barely 18 months to agree and open the commercial facility. The private and commercial pre-clearance facility combined with the abundance of space at Shannon, make it well placed to become a major international cargo hub and this is the next goal.
Pre-clearance is the process whereby all inspection and clearance requirements under U.S. laws for travellers arriving into the U.S. are carried out at the departing airport (Shannon Airport). Passengers arriving at U.S. airports are then processed without any further official contact. On arrival at the U.S. airport they will have a status similar to that of passengers arriving from another U.S. airport. Passengers will be able to travel onward to other U.S. destinations, whilst remaining airside, thereby removing the need for further security and baggage checks.
This business jet facility is unique to Shannon Airport and will provide a significant stimulus towards attracting inward investment from major international companies and job creators to the region and to the country as a whole at a time when it’s needed most,” concluded Minister O’Dea.