REGIONAL TRADE BOOST: Tri-Cities airport cuts ribbon on GEEC center

REGIONAL TRADE BOOST: Tri-Cities airport cuts ribbon on GEEC center

By David Rogers. May 22, 2019. BLOUNTVILLE, TN — International travel and trade just got a little easier in the East Tennessee and High Country region with Wednesday’s ribbon cutting for the new Global Entry Enrollment Center (GEEC) at Tri-Cities Airport.

Photographic images courtesy of Tri-Cities Airport and Homeland Security (

The on-site celebration culminates a two-year partnership of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Tri-Cities Port of Entry and The Tri-Cities Airport Authority. The mission has been to deliver expanded services to the traveling public in the region.

The Center is located in the main terminal of the airport, providing international travelers a centrally located, CBP-staffed facility to process Global Entry enrollments.

“The Global Entry Enrollment Center at Tri-Cities Airport will provide easy access for individuals within the Tri-Cities region and beyond.” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority Executive Director. “It is a three or five-hour drive to the next closest center with an available appointment. We expect to see visitors from outside the Tri-Cities region coming here for their interviews as most Enrollment Centers’ schedules are booked for several months.”

Charlotte (3+hours) and Nashville (approx. five hours) are the nearest GEEC facilities to Tri-Cities Airport.

The Global Entry Enrollment Center at TRI will initially be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM to assess the number of applicants for CBP Trusted Traveler Program applicants. Applicants must have applied online for Global Entry, and have had their applications conditionally approved. Conditionally-approved applicants may schedule or change their currently scheduled interview for the TRI Enrollment Center using the Global Entry website. CBP will actively manage hours of operations based on the number of applicants and operational needs throughout the calendar year.

The Global Entry Program provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk international travelers. Members of these programs can expect expedited processing when entering the United States using automated kiosks at participating airports. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓™, the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited security program.

Travelers interested in enrolling in Global Entry can visit CBP’s Global Entry website for more information.

“This opening of the Global Enrollment Center is just one more example of CBP’s dedication to protecting our borders while facilitating legitimate trade and travel in cooperation with our stakeholders,” said Thomas Cook, CBP Tri-Cities Port Director.

About U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of the USA’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

About Tri-Cities Airport (TRI)

Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) is a full-service commercial airport serving Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, and Eastern Kentucky. TRI offers non-stop flights to five hubs (Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas Fort Worth (beginning 9/4/19), Orland/Sanford, and St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa) on Allegiant, American, and Delta. For more information about Tri-Cities Airport, visit


About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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