7960670080?profile=originalAfter years of discussion, planning and anticipation for the project, shovels finally hit the dirt

during the July 20 groundbreaking ceremony for the 4,700-square-foot U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility

at the Boca Raton Airport. The $4.3 million customs station is expected to add convenience and safety

for planes returning to Boca Raton after international flights. Currently, those aircraft are required

to make an interim landing at a nearby airport with a customs facility – often Palm Beach International

Airport or Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport ­– before returning to Boca Raton. The reduction

in the number of takeoffs and landings will decrease fuel consumption,

Airport Authority Executive Director Clara Bennett said.

ABOVE: Atlantic Aviation managers Linda Hernandez, Richard Thacker, Devin Lawrence

and Azra Thomas join Bennett at the groundbreaking. BELOW: Jennifer Connors,

U.S. Customs and Border Protection port director, predicts improved service to the community.

7960669895?profile=original

7960670879?profile=originalA rendering of the new facility planned to open in the summer of 2017.

Photos by Jerry Lower/The Coastal Star

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