The Leesburg Town Council has signed off on a lease agreement that will bring international flights to Leesburg Executive Airport.
The council Tuesday unanimously endorsed the agreement between the town and the U.S. government, acting on behalf of Customs and Border Protection. An 835-square-foot portion of the airport terminal is being retrofitted to accommodate a customs passenger waiting and processing area, an interview room, a hold room, and general office space for CBP. The converted space was not being actively used and formerly held vending machines and storage, as well as a pilot sleep area. The Virginia Department of Aviation provided funding assistance for the space reconfiguration, according to a staff report.
There is no charge for the annual lease, which can be renewed for up to 20 years. The lone cost to the town, pegged at $1,800 annually, is for providing telephone and Internet service and security monitoring for the space. However, Airport Manager Scott Coffman said that is expected to be offset by the additional fuel flow fees from the international flights. It’s anticipated the airport will see at least 100 more flights a year thanks to the addition of customs.
Although customs officers will not be present at the facility 24/7, they will come to the airport when pilots make advanced notice of incoming flights.
Construction on the space is expected to be completed next month.