NEW BEDFORD (AP) — International flights have been approved for landing at New Bedford Regional Airport by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With the approval, the public-use airport is now able to accept flights originating from outside of the country.

Airport director Erick D’Leon says flights to and from Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and Portugal have already passed through the airport in recent months. But now with the certification, D’Leon says international flights at the airport can occur in a much more streamlined way.

Aircraft service providers NorEast Aviation and Colonial Air have both received approval to handle international traffic. Sandpiper Air is expected to receive its certification soon.

Total aircraft operations at the airport have increased by 12 percent this year.

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