The Portland International Jetport wants to build a new customs area, which is a key step for overseas flights.
A display welcomes people to Portland at a baggage reclaim area within the Portland International Jetport on Feb. 22, 2022. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

Mainers looking to get out of the country could soon depart from Portland.

Portland International Jetport officials said the facility is in need of expansion, and part of that plan is a customs area that would allow airlines to head out overseas.

Jetport officials said they’ve seen a constraint on parking and a crowded concourse more often.

Their plan includes 800 new parking spaces, which needs to be approved by the City Council, as well as a Customs and Border Protection section in the old ticketing area.

Although the runways at the jetport don’t support larger planes that traditionally fly overseas, new more powerful jets that fit on the jetport’s runways make traveling farther possible.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Airport Director Paul Bradbury said. “But certainly, we now have that connectivity to Greenland, Iceland and then it’s a short jump to mainland Europe.”

As of now, there’s no timeframe for when the jetport could get the new customs area, which is the key to adding international flights.

This idea comes as more travel options are coming to the jetport.

Breeze Airways will start service to Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; Pittsburgh; and Tampa, Florida, later this year.