Brownsville spends on Latin hub

NEW grants will help Brownsville South Padre Island International accelerate its attempts to become a US-Latin America hub.

The airport has been approved for a US$1 million grant from the US Economic Development Administration for construction of a 20,000 sq ft air cargo facility inside the airport’s Foreign Trade Zone.

Another $940,000 in Airport Improvement Program grant money, through the Federal Aviation Administration, will be spent on engineering work on multiple projects including ticket counters, gates and other infrastructure improvements.

The plan is to establish dual customs operations in a new cargo hangar, enabling personnel from both the US and Mexican customs services to be stationed there. The facility could also include refrigerated areas for handling perishable products such as fresh flowers from South America and seafood from Mexico.

Pan American Airways and World-Wide Consolidated Logistics will begin cargo services to Latin America in 2011. A TSA certified cargo screening facility is being established by World-Wide to facilitate this and the airport’s plans to tap Africa in 2012.

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