Local News
12:00 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Customs Desk Could Bring More Corporate Jets To Monroe

Officials at the Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport expect more corporate air fleets will land on the tarmac, once the airport can accept international flights.
Officials at the Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport expect more corporate air fleets will land on the tarmac, once the airport can accept international flights.
Credit Kenneth Lu/Flickr

Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport will begin constructing a customs building, and that could be a business boon for Union County.

No place in the Carolinas has more aerospace companies than Monroe.

“Those companies do a lot of international work,” says North Carolina Aviation Director Richard Walls. “So, being able to bring flights and cargo directly into Monroe allows all of that cargo to get into those factories and into those aerospace companies much more quickly and much more efficiently.”

Right now those companies have two choices for international flights on private jets: fly into a commercial airport like Charlotte-Douglas or land in a non-commercial airport approved by Customs and Border Control. The Federal Register lists only 49 of these across the country, and the closest is Myrtle Beach.

But, now Monroe has been approved to build a customs desk. Chris Platé, Monroe’s executive director of economic development and aviation, describes that as a huge advantage for the region’s businesses.

“They can come straight home, either where the aircraft is based or where they’re coming into to do business in the Charlotte region,” Platé says. “They can come flying into here rather than going in and dealing with all the traffic associated with a larger airport like a Charlotte-Douglas.”

Platé anticipates more companies—and not just the area’s aviation industry—will want to park their jets at Monroe, and that will bring business and tax revenue to the county. He estimates the new building will receive final approval from Border Control next year, and it will cost less than a million dollars to construct. Housing customs officers will add some additional cost to Monroe flyers, about $160,000 a year total, according to Platé.