When new customs screening facility will open at Richmond International Airport

Richmond International Airport
Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-18 16:15:31-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A new customs screening facility at Richmond International Airport to allow for direct international commercial passenger flights is expected to open in April.

"It's good to see that the facility comes back online because you know, we'll be able to check all the boxes," Richmond International Airport Spokesperson Troy Bell said.

The years-long revamp was required after airport officials were told in 2019 that the nearly 20-year-old customs screening area in Terminal B did not meet federal standards.

More than half of the $7.2 million cost for the project came from federal funds.

Poster image - 2024-02-14T170636.138.jpg
Sen. Tim Kaine

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D - Virginia), who advocated for the funding, received a tour of the nearly completed facility Wednesday.

"Being able to be here and see the dream, advocate for the funds, get the funds and now come as it's almost done, is really exciting," Kaine said. "It's just an important asset for the Commonwealth."

Kaine said that among the reasons he pushed for the money was to further improve the more than $2 billion annual economic impact of RIC, noting the airport's record passenger numbers in 2023.

"And when you can get international, that's even better," Kaine said. "There are a lot of international assets that would make people want to come here, but you got to have an airport that suited for it."

Kaine also pledged to advocate for more federal funding for safety-related projects at the airport, including upgrades to the apron area where airplanes move about on their way to the terminals.

Richmond International Airport

Airport officials said talks are underway to secure international airlines to use the facility.

"The targets that make the most sense and the airlines that we've been talking to for some time are ones that could support popular Caribbean destinations for us, and then also some of the transporter up into Canada," Bell said.

The customs area will be serviced by one gate, B 15. But officials said the design of that end of the terminal could allow for more to be added.

Richmond International Airport

Longtime Prince George County resident Pamela Bailey is excited the airport update will potentially open up Central Virginia to more visitors.

"Not only for the income revenue of Virginia, but for businessmen who want to come in and out and make their lives easier jobs easier," Bailey said. "We have beautiful people, beautiful sights to see, gorgeous parks, wonderful trails."

Depend on CBS 6 News and for complete coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.