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Letter: Dubious need for MacArthur customs

A Southwest Airline 737 plane landing at MacArthur

A Southwest Airline 737 plane landing at MacArthur Airport in Islip. (March 16, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

While I applaud Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-N.Y.) efforts to expand flights through Long Island MacArthur Airport by adding international routes, building and staffing a customs and immigration unit is not needed to accomplish this ["MacArthur Int'l next?" News, June 11].

Schumer named Aruba and the Bahamas as possible destinations. However, these countries, as well as Bermuda, Canada and Ireland, have United States pre-clearance in place, meaning passengers go through customs and immigration before boarding their flight back to the United States.

Yes, there's a need for a small customs presence at the receiving airport, however, I think Schumer's time would be better spent attracting a carrier such as JetBlue to provide service on popular New York-Florida routes.

Alan Dillenbeck, Point Lookout