US customs prepares for more international flights in Florida Keys

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MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A new customs checkpoint is opening at Florida Keys airport in preparation for more traffic involving the island chain and Cuba and other international destinations.

According to a statement from the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, the new Customs and Border Protection facility opens April 20 at The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport. The airport hasn’t had a customs officer on duty since the 1980s.

The airport currently serves corporate jets, private planes and charters but no commercial flights.

The county’s assistant director of airports, T.J. Henderson, says the Middle Keys airport could be an attractive alternative to busier South Florida airports. Henderson says Marathon’s location would be convenient for both residents and tourists coming from Cuba and the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.

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