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Ducey announces plans for customs center at East Valley airport

A first-of-its-kind agreement could make the East Valley a major international trading hub.

SkyBridge Arizona has made arrangements to set up a joint customs center with U.S. and Mexican officials at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. That will expedite the ability of U.S. companies to export goods to Mexico and beyond without additional hassles once reaching their final destination.

Aides to the governor said this is the result of “historic agreements” signed between officials of the two countries that will create “America’s first and only inland international air logistics and processing hub with Mexico.”

What will be set up is similar to existing operations along the border in places like Nogales.

But that only helps those who are shipping items by truck. This new arrangement will aid companies that want quicker international deliveries through air.

The announcement could have a ripple effect at the airport which has had mixed success in attracting commercial airline flights.

At this point the main carrier is Allegiant Airlines which provides service to various other secondary airports around the country. WestJet offers service to two Canadian airports.

Any new investment in the customs center could help improve and expand all the facilities.

Ducey said the development will generate 17,000 direct and indirect jobs. He also said there will be a $230 million direct investment over 360 acres.

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