ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZATION OF PASSENGER AIR SERVICE TO CUBA AT PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
PITTSBURGH, PA (March 10, 2011) – Pittsburgh International Airport is one of eight airports authorized by the United States Customs and Border Protection to offer passenger air service to and from Cuba, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced today.
Pittsburgh International Airport will join Miami, New York (JFK) and Los Angeles with permission to provide charter flights. The federal approval comes as part of the President Barack Obama’s effort to ease restrictions on travel to the communist island nation for academic, religious, humanitarian and news-gathering organizations.
Trips will be limited to charter flights. Charter services would need both U.S. and Cuban government approval to fly the route. Currently no charter service has been identified to begin the service.
The Airport Authority applied to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the right to run the Cuba charter service after President Obama announced in January the changes to travel restrictions to facilitate more U.S. travel there. Selection was based on the ability to meet certain criteria, including customs and security facilities to process international traffic.
“Many world class universities and colleges as well as community groups in western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio stand to benefit from this approval. The exchange between our region and Cuban residents potentially can enhance community affairs and educational/economic pursuits,” said Glenn R. Mahone, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
U.S. Customs has also approved Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International; Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport; Dallas/Fort Worth International; New Orleans Louis Armstrong International; O'Hare International in Chicago; Tampa International Airport, and San Juan Louis Munoz Marin International in Puerto Rico.