Customs clearance available at Aruba

 - October 9, 2008, 5:42 AM

Universal Aviation Aruba will be able to pre-clear visitors for all U.S. customs and immigration at Aruba’s general aviation terminal starting early next year, according to Universal Weather & Aviation. The pre-clearance capability stems from an agreement signed by the U.S. and Aruba in May, which made Aruba the first country in the world to be able to offer pre-clearance.

After landing at Queen Beatrix Airport, visitors can pre-clear at the customs and immigration wing at the general aviation terminal, then fly to any destination in the U.S. without having to stop at an airport-of-entry. “Aruba is strategically located just two-and-a-half hours from the U.S. border,” said Walter Lindo, Universal Weather & Aviation’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Now when you leave Aruba, you can operate to anywhere in the U.S. This will be a huge time saving as operators, who normally had to make tech stops for fuel and then an additional stop for customs and immigration clearance, can now do everything in one location.” Pre-clearance at Aruba should take about 40 minutes, according to Universal.