Tallahassee officials break ground on airport international processing facility

Groundbreaking
The addition is expected to boost the airport's annual economic impact by more than more than $304M.

Tallahassee officials broke ground at the site of Tallahassee International Airport’s (TLH) international processing facility Tuesday.

The facility, a multiyear, $28 million project slated to open for service in 2024, will allow TLH to accommodate international flights and allow goods to be shipped to and received from locations around the world. It is expected to increase the airport’s annual economic impact from $599 million to $1 billion.

Initial planning for the addition began in 2014 and is part of the TLH Master Plan approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and Florida Department of Transportation. The addition will house a United States Customs and Border Protection-approved international port of entry and a federal inspection station that will serve both commercial air service and general aviation flights at the airport.

The groundbreaking ceremony used gold-painted shovels emblemed the Tallahassee logo on its blade.

The event was attended by dozens of local government officials, airport executives and community members, including Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, City Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Dianne Williams-Cox, Police Chief Lawrence Revell and others. City Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter did not attend.

Before the groundbreaking, Dailey said in a speech the expansion is a key piece of the city’s five-year strategic plan and will provide the infrastructure needed to continue to grow the region’s economy. He said making the airport a Foreign Trade Zone could add 1,600 total jobs to the local economy, increase wages and create a total annual economic impact of more than $304 million.

“I am so proud to be here today to celebrate this occasion as we expand the future of our international airport and open Tallahassee to a world of possibilities,” Dailey said. “Our prioritization of the airport is making it a significant economic driver in a way our community has never seen before. Our community and our region will gain the benefits of this major investment and the jobs it will create.”

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey gives a speech at the groundbreaking flanked by City Commissioners Dianne Williams-Cox and Curtis Richardson.

Dailey thanked the airport and city employees and officials who helped make it possible.

“We all know that with the right people in place, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish here in our local community,” he said.

Tristan Wood

Tristan Wood graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with a degree in Journalism. A South Florida native, he has a passion for political and accountability reporting. He previously reported for Fresh Take Florida, a news service that covers the Florida Legislature and state political stories operating out of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. You can reach Tristan at [email protected], or on Twitter @TristanDWood


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