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Mayor Tom Rose believes that a federal customs office, or at least a satellite customs office, should be set up in Stephenville.
He said with advance warning that can be from 15 minutes to an hour for an international flight to be inform the local airport of a landing, service from the customs office in Corner Brook (an hour away) is just not good enough.
Rose said between Stephenville airport, the deep-water port at Turf Point in St. George’s, Lower Cove Mines on the Port au Port Peninsula and the Port of Stephenville, there’s lots in the area to keep a customs office busy.
He said as a technical stopover in Stephenville, there are times when corporate aircraft have a planned stop of 45 minutes and have a “slot time” to be at their destination, so they need customs services to continue their journey on time.
“If you want to lose a customer – then delay them and you’ll likely not ever see them again,” Rose said.
He feels its common sense and the right time to lobby for what he feels the town deserves and that’s a customs office, which was previously located in the town.
Rose said for it to work right, there needs to be a customs officer living right in Stephenville, who would only be about five minutes from the airport as many of the international flights come in from an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. period.
Rose is hoping to go to Ottawa and meet with the relevant federal officials to talk about the customs presence he feels is needed in Stephenville.