Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 19, 2013

SW Virginia loses only international port of entry

Associated Press

DUBLIN, Va. — Officials in southwest Virginia say a federal move to cut the only customs agent position in the area will handicap the region.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that the agency won’t fill a vacancy at the New River Valley Airport in Dublin.

The move means that the region can no longer receive international flights or shipments unless they first pass through another port.

The port director at the airport retired earlier this year but regional officials were under the impression the vacancy was temporary.

The Roanoke Times reports that incoming cargo in the region will have to be processed and inspected more than two hours away in Richmond. And the Roanoke, New River Valley and Virginia Tech airports can no longer receive international passengers.