Posted on Friday, 10.07.11
Customs OK's direct Key West-Cuba flights
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says direct Key West-to-Cuba flights
can began as soon as final paperwork is cleared — but with limitations.
In an Oct. 4 letter to Monroe County Airports Director Peter Horton,
Thomas Winkowski, assistant commissioner in Customs' Office of Field
Operations, said "after reviewing the additional information you
provided in your July 15, 2011, letter, I am pleased to inform you that
Key West International Airport has met the criteria … and has been
approved to offer passenger air service to and from Cuba. However, in
view of the limitations of [the airport], aircraft may travel with no
more than 10 passengers per flight."
That could change if the airport upgrades its facilities, Winkowski wrote.
All aircraft to which amended federal Cuba-U.S. regulations apply must
be properly licensed or otherwise authorized to travel between the two
Generally, U.S. flights to Cuba are chartered, and travelers must be
OK'd by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control,
which grants licenses for cultural, medical, educational and
journalistic travel. However, others can travel for other reasons, for
example, perhaps to see a dying loved one or for business purposes, such
as recently happened with a U.S. contingent flying to Cuba to discuss
oil drilling off the island nation's coast.