Casey makes pitch to Trump for more customs officers at Pittsburgh International Airport

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 8 minutes ago In an effort to get more Customs and Border Patrol officers to Pittsburgh International Airport, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is going straight to the top. Casey, a Democrat from Scranton, wrote a letter...

Casey makes pitch to Trump for more customs officers at Pittsburgh International Airport

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Updated 8 minutes ago

In an effort to get more Customs and Border Patrol officers to Pittsburgh International Airport, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is going straight to the top.

Casey, a Democrat from Scranton, wrote a letter to President Trump on Thursday making a case for more customs officers to be assigned to the airport.

“PIT will have six carriers with international arrivals before summer 2017, but current CBP staffing is insufficient to handle the service,” the letter reads. “With no overtime approval into the night hours and four fewer officers than less trafficked years, the CBP is not in a position to appropriately support the exciting growth at PIT.”

The airport will begin offering flights to Iceland and Germany in June, many with close arrival times, said Bob Kerlik, airport spokesman.

The airport's number of customs officers has decreased over the past decade, Kerlik said. Although the airport does not have a serious shortage of officers, the airport agrees with the spirit of the letter, as an attempt to be proactive, Kerlik said.

“We want to make sure customs has enough officers to process the people coming off the new flights,” he said. “Getting people through customs quickly and efficiently is important for medium-sized airports.”Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669 or tclift@tribweb.com.

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