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Norfolk International Airport gets more federal dollars to replace customs inspection facility

Ground operations at Norfolk International Airport. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Ground operations at Norfolk International Airport. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Updated Feb. 15, 2024 at 3:26 p.m. A previous version of this article stated the facility will be used to inspect international cargo. It will be used to process international travelers.

Norfolk International is getting $6 million to replace its aging customs facility, the latest in a stream of federally funded improvements announced at the airport.

The building houses the airport’s Federal Inspection Service, which processes international travelers. It’s only able to process one aircraft's worth of people at a time — something the new facility would change.

“We’re glad this funding will help improve Norfolk International’s ability to process flights in a timely fashion, ensuring that the facility stays functional and safe,” U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner wrote in a press release announcing the funding.

Norfolk International saw a record year in 2023, with total passenger numbers rising over 10% from 2022. Budget airlines Spirit and Breeze both expanded offerings at the airport last year.

Federal lawmakers announced in February 2023 that the airport would receive a little over $5 million to replace the moving concourse on the pedestrian bridge connecting departures and arrivals. The airport also plans to construct a hotel and new rental car facility onsite.

The total cost of the customs facility is around $33 million, Airport Authority president Mark Perryman said.

The grants for the moving walkway and new customs facility come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Both projects will get underway this year.

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