TAMPA (CBS4) – Cuban-Americans living in Tampa will no longer have to travel to Miami if they want to visit their former homeland.
On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection granted approval to Tampa International Airport to begin service to Cuba. Three licensed charter operators have said they will provide flights to Havana. In addition to Miami, only airports in New York and Los Angeles have been authorized to offer flights to Cuba.
Legally, U.S. citizens not from Cuba are not allowed to fly to the island nation from the U.S. According to the latest U.S. census, the Tampa Bay has the second largest Cuban-American population in the states second only to Miami-Dade County.
The Tampa airport officials expect the flights to begin by summer or early fall.