Often people see the sign for the Casper/Natrona County International Airport and laugh at the "International" part.

It's not like you can get on a plane in Casper, Wyoming, and fly directly to Paris.

So, what are they talking about?

Other airports in Wyoming are even smaller, yet still have that "International" designation.

They are called that for a reason you might not have thought about.

From the Casper/Natrona County Airport Facebook page:

What does it mean to be an international airport?

C/NCIA is a designated U.S. Port of Entry, meaning it is a U.S. Customs office allowing passengers and freight to enter the United States.

While most people think about this in terms of international air carriers (think Air Canada), in actuality the Customs office at the Airport clears over 500 aircraft per year.


If we look at a definition of what makes an "international airport" we find the following:

An "international airport" can be named as such by simply containing customs and border control facilities to enable international flights, regardless of whether international flights currently operate to or from the airport. (Wikipedia).

Flights come into Wyoming from Canada, and sometimes South America, and will clear customs at the Casper airport.

Aviation experts say the definition of an international airport doesn't have anything to do with how large a facility is or how frequently flights head to overseas destinations.

An airport that features customs and border control facilities that allow passengers and freight to travel between countries is the key in determining whether it's an international designation. (Currier Journal). 


You can still fly from Casper to Paris. Just not directly. What a shame.

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