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Hector Airport Named Full Time International Port of Entry by U. S. Customs Service
July 18, 2002

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U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan’s (D-ND) three year effort to have Fargo’s Hector International Airport designated as a full time International Port of Entry met with success Friday as he announced the U.S. Customs Service is making the designation for one year, effective immediately. The action could significantly boost the number of international flights at the airport and increase business opportunities in the region, he said.

The designation will also save the airport about $150,000 a year in operating costs, Dorgan said, since the U.S. Customs Service will now assume all Port of Entry operating costs. Up to now, these expenses were covered by the airport authority, local governments or passed onto the end users of freight and passengers moving through the airport.

Dorgan is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds U.S. Customs. He has worked with city and airport officials since 1999 to convince Customs to grant Hector Airport full time Port of Entry status.

“This is an important step for Hector International Airport and the entire Fargo and eastern North Dakota region,” said Dorgan. "By removing the port expenses for planes flying into Fargo, we'll see more international traffic at Hector Airport as planes land to refuel or drop off and pick up passengers or cargo. That means increased business opportunities for North Dakota."

“We are delighted with the decision to have Fargo be named an International Port of Entry,” said Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness.

“This will serve to continue and enhance the economic vitality and development of our region.” “This temporary designation will lead to increased activity at the Fargo Port of Entry, which will benefit the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding region in terms of import and export activities,” said Shawn Dobberstein, Executive Director at Hector International Airport.

After one year, the Customs Service will review the designation and determine whether to make it permanent, Dorgan said.

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