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Austin Straubel Plans New Inspection Station

Cassandra Duvall

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Austin Straubel Plans New Inspection Station

CREATED Feb. 22, 2013

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. -- GREEN BAY, WI -- Austin Straubel International Airport wants to make it easier for people flying in and out of the country.

The airport wants to build a $7.5 million Federal Inspection Station that would allow non-stop flights to and from Green Bay.

Congressman Reid Ribble met with Brown County leaders to discuss how far they've come, in getting this project off the ground.  

“It's about business efficiency in the course of your normal business day,” said Tom Hedge. He’s getting ready for his flight to India for business. He said international business is a must. 

“People who don't see Green Bay as an international community are probably not calibrated how Green Bay’s changed over the years,” said Hedge. 

But he said getting to and from places could be easier. 

“More direct flights, more international flights would be terrific,” he said. 

That's where the new Federal Inspection Station comes in. A 20,000 sq. ft. facility would allow customs agents to receive flights in and out of the U.S.

“People won't have to go to Milwaukee or Chicago to catch an international flight,” said Tom Miller, Airport Director.  

Miller said it would also bring 46 new jobs. To get funding, the FAA said they need to see community backing. Today Rep. Ribble collected more than 1,300 letters of support. 

“The community should be commended for the work that they've done,” said Congressman Ribble. 

The flights would help bring in business and tourism. but also charter planes for vacations.

"People have had enough of winter they want to go someplace warm,” said Miller.

Miller said the actual construction of the station would take about a year. Then they would need customs agents to agree to fill the spots needed to load and unload planes.