Adjust your sunglasses and buckle your seatbelts. You’re touching down at Shannon!
Shannon Airport has welcomed a procedural change for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that has created a business bonanza for the airport.
Welcoming the revised procedures by US authorities, which will enable much faster turn-around for private and business jets.
In 2009 Shannon Airport effectively became the first airport in the world to offer full US pre-clearance.
OK so you ask “who’s using Shannon airport?” Who else but CEO’s! Walmart’s Michael Duke, Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit and American Express chief Kenneth Chenneault are among the top-shelf US biz giants who have flown private jets through Shannon Airport in recent months since the airport introduced its pre-clearance service for travel to the USA.
Hollywood moguls – no stranger to the green Isle have taken advantage of the new rules. According to sources Pamela Anderson, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks and Mariah Carey have all touched down at the airport, with John Travolta piloting his own jet into Shannon.
Last year the airport handled 1,700 corporate jets, which was up 10% from 2009. The airport now plans to triple numbers over a five-year period as it seeks to become a European hub.
There are approximately 25,000 private aircraft across the globe with 76 jets registered to Irish citizens.
Here’s how you the private or business jet traveler will benefit:
• Your baggage is checked through to your final destination, no need for pick up/drop off.
• Arriving as a domestic passenger allows for a faster process though the airport.
• Shorter connecting times mean you can reach your final destination earlier.
Former Irish Minister Willie O’Dea TD says it took over a decade for the USA and Canada to open the CBP facilities in Canada – Ireland took barely 18 months to agree and open the commercial facility. The private and commercial pre-clearance facility combined with the abundance of space at Shannon, make it well positioned to become a major player in the international cargo hub which is where they believe it will go.
Over 200 US domestic airports can now receive international Business Jet flights directly from Shannon that have pre-cleared US Customs and Immigration at Shannon without delay. The new process will ensure an enhanced US preclearance process at Shannon and guarantee quick aircraft turnarounds. For any operator who requires a fuel stop on the North Atlantic, pre-clearance becomes very attractive..
“We are grateful to the US authorities for this change and, indeed, to the National Business Aviation Association for their efforts in this regard.”
You’ll still need to have your pre-clearance formalities handled 1 hour before the flight. And passengers planning travel to the US are required under the Visa Waiver Programme to apply for travel authorization online prior to travel. It’s got a name: The new electronic system for travel authorisation (ESTA) can be completed at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
Turn up the volume and pour me that Jameson! We’re jettin’ off.