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Posted at 3:12 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Feds OK BWI to Cuba flights

By Associated Press and Staff Reports

Charter flights to Cuba are coming to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

BWI announced Tuesday that it was among several new markets that had received approval to provide service to Cuba by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

President Obama announced in January that the administration planned to expand charter service to Cuba, which had been limited to three airports in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. Obama said charter service would be expanded to any international airport with proper customs and immigration facilities as long as licensed travel agencies asked to run charters.

"We are grateful that the federal government has approved the application for direct charter service between BWI Marshall Airport and Cuba," Paul J. Wiedefeld, the airport's executive director, said in a statement. "The authorization can produce expanded access to Cuba for Maryland and the entire National Capital region. This service has the potential to benefit many institutions and organizations throughout our region."

BWI officials said there are still regulatory steps that need to be completed before the service can begin.

Obama also announced plans to loosen Cuban travel policy to allow students and church groups to go to the communist country.

Other airports approved for the flights are New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Tampa; and San Juan.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | March 8, 2011; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
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