Fresno airport faces costly decisions

-- Aug. 12--After building a $1.7 million international arrival and inspection facility, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to staff it, Fresno Yosemite International Airport officials could face a difficult choice if...

If the station were shuttered and agents reshuffled to other ports of entry, however, FYI would essentially be starting from scratch on a very expensive proposition if another airline wanted to start international flights in the future.

"It becomes a wish and a hope at that point," Widmar said. "Today we can say, 'we're fully equipped to take you now.' "

To reopen a closed station, Widmar said FYI would likely have to pay the full bill, not just half, for the customs staff. Between that tab and an international incentive program that waives airport fees and rents for a carrier for two years to establish a new route, "we'd be taking on one hell of a lot of cost, probably close to $2 million a year, to re-establish ourselves as an international arrival facility."

The reporter can be reached at or (559) 441-6319.

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