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Local Airport Goes International with Opening of Customs and Border Protection Station

Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport is now an international destination, with the official opening of the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station, which will serve the needs of corporate and business travelers arriving from outside the U.S.  Local and area dignitaries gathered at the airport Thursday for the facility’s opening, complete with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal addressed the gathering, calling it a “great day” and praising all those who worked to make the concept a reality.

“This airport is an economic tool Montgomery County will value forever,” Doyal said, “One that will bring great opportunities for us in terms of corporate growth and economic growth.”

Mickey Deison, chairman of the Conroe Industrial Development Corporation and also a former Montgomery County Judge and former mayor of Conroe, also spoke at the event, calling the addition of the Customs Station “one of the greatest things that has happened” to the airport.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador said the addition was the result of a collaborative effort, and the latest of many improvements over the past decade.

“It’s amazing where the airport has gone in the last 10 years,” Meador said. “It’s a huge economic tool. This opens a lot of doors.”

The Commissioner also spoke on behalf of former Conroe Mayor Web Melder, who was unable to attend, but sent a message, referring to the airport as a “crown jewel” for Conroe and for Montgomery County. Meador read Melder’s statement, which credited the late Seth Dorbandt, a.k.a. “Mr. Conroe”, with making that prediction long ago.

“The economic seeds of growth have been planted,” Melder wrote, “The FAA control tower, the runway extension, the new FBO and now the new Customs and Immigration Facility.”

He further stated he prayed the spirit of working together would continue and called the opening “a shining example of teamwork.”

“He’s right, it’s such a teamwork effort,” Meador said. “It really touches me to see everybody come together and make this happen.”

Charles Perez, Port Director for US Customs Border Protection said the facility was “another good example of public / private partnerships between the US government and a city.”

“CBP is here to support you,” Perez said. “We will have an officer that will be stationed here on regular time and, as necessary, overtime.”

Perez said he expects private jet use to increase with their presence.

For locals, the addition of the Customs station is exciting not only for the anticipated positive economic impact, but because of the simultaneous announcement by Commissioner Meador that the newly constructed extension of League Line Road from I-45 to the airport will be completed in about two weeks, and will make the drive from the interstate to the airport about 10 minutes. He said a perimeter road on airport property is also being discussed.

Some of those on hand for the ribbon cutting were Sheriff Tommy Gage and Sheriff-elect Rand Henderson, Representative Wil Metcalf, County Attorney J.D. Lambright, Judge Wayne Mack, representatives from the offices of Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Robert Nichols, TxDOT, and the The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce.


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