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Shannon gets biz jet boost

Business jet flyers out of Shannon Airport will be quicker off the ground and faster off the mark when they reach the U.S., this after U.S. Customs and Border Protection revised its procedures so as to speed up full customs and immigration clearance for business jet passengers.

Welcoming the changes, Shannon's director, Mary Considine, said it was a very important development for the airport. The announcement came ahead of a business aviation conference this week entitled "Financial Solutions for Business Aircraft," co-hosted by Shannon Airport and Shannon Development.

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The conference will be exploring the potential for what a release from FTI Consulting described as "significant global private jet operations out of Shannon Airport."

"This change in procedure clears one of the most important hurdles that was in our way in terms of maximizing the opportunities for significant private and corporate jet business at Shannon. As a result, over 200 U.S. domestic airports can now receive international business jet flights directly from Shannon that have pre-cleared U.S. customs and immigration at Shannon without delay," said Considine.

"The new process will ensure an enhanced U.S. pre-clearance process at Shannon and guarantee quick aircraft turnarounds. For any operator who requires a fuel stop on the North Atlantic, pre-clearance is an added bonus. We are grateful to the U.S. authorities for this change and, indeed, to the National Business Aviation Association for their efforts in this regard," Considine added. In 2009, Shannon became the first airport in the world to offer full U.S. customs and immigration pre-clearance.