Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, has been selected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to operate a new Centralized Examination Station (CES) at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
WFS has been awarded a five-year contract by CBP, one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and the United States’ first unified border entity, which takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection.
When the CES begins its phased opening in Q1 2025, it will become the first Air CES to contain all segments of CBP inspections as well as the first on-airport examination facility at JFK, processing import, export, and USDA (Department of Agriculture) goods. Currently, the nearest CES station to JFK is located at Newark Airport.

“The Centralized Examination Station (CES) is a game-changer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at JFK Airport. The efficiencies realized from this facility will allow CBP to optimize resources and enhance our enforcement efforts to keep bad things, such as dangerous precursor chemicals, goods that infringe on intellectual property rights, and imports that place the American people at risk for their health and safety, out of the commerce of the United States,” said Salvatore Ingrassia, Port Director, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at JFK. “The CES is also a win-win for the JFK trade community, as the billions of dollars of lawfully imported goods will move through the JFK network with even greater speed and efficiency.”

He added: “We recognise Worldwide Freight Services (WFS) as a global leader in international cargo and ground handling logistics, applaud their forward leaning innovation in the industry, and thank them for their willingness to step up as the CES Operator at JFK Airport.  We look forward to our continued collaboration with WFS, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, our DHS partners, as well as our Partner Government Agencies, as this project moves forward.”

JFK is North America’s busiest international airport by both international passengers and international widebody flight operations. As a result, JFK is a primary gateway for international air cargo – both for passenger airlines flying cargo in the bellyhold of aircraft as well as pure freighter activities. Over 85 international airlines move cargo through JFK in one of 20 different on-airport air cargo warehouses, facilitating an annual cargo throughput of approximately 1.4 million tons.

JFK ranks in the top 10 in the US for annual air cargo activity and top 25 globally, supporting over 70,000 jobs in the region and approximately $16 billion in economic impact.

“WFS is honoured to have been chosen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is America’s front line to detect and disrupt threats at and beyond the country’s borders. WFS is proud to have been given this opportunity to support CBP’s outstanding work in protecting the safety and security of the United States by leveraging our cargo handling expertise,” said Mike Simpson, CEO the Americas at WFS. “This partnership marks another exciting chapter for WFS and underscores our unwavering commitment to safety, security, and innovation in air cargo handling. We look forward to delivering exceptional service and contributing to the continued success of JFK and the air cargo industry.”

The CES facility will be located within Building 151 at New York JFK, one of WFS’ cargo facilities at the airport, and will occupy more than 100,000 sqft of warehousing, office accommodation, and support facilities. The CES will benefit from the facility’s key location close to the ramp, providing fast airside access within the airport boundary from any airside location.
All shipments requiring inspection will need to be transported to the CES from their respective airline facilities. The on-airport examination station will yield significant productivity efficiencies for CBP officers, who will no longer have to travel to the cargo at various locations to complete inspections.
In preparation for the CES opening, WFS will be building out the facility to suit the specific requirements of CBP. Additionally, custom software is being developed to make the JFK operation the first paperless CES, supporting WFS’ commitment to air cargo digitisation. WFS’ existing dock management software will also ensure efficient processing of trucks, while digital dashboards will be used to monitor the progress of shipments to optimise the smooth processing of cargo.
New York JFK is one of WFS’ biggest international cargo stations, serving some 40 airline customers across eight handling facilities at the airport. In 2025, WFS will increase its cargo capacity at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) by another 20% with the opening of a new 346,000 sq.ft. terminal incorporating advanced technology and sustainability solutions. The new facility will take the company’s footprint at the airport to over 700,000 sq. ft. and grow capacity to more than 675,000 tons per annum.

WFS Americas operates 85 stations in key cities in the United States and Canada. These are integral to the SATS Group’s network of 215 stations in 27 countries, which offer customers global network connectivity and the support of dedicated teams with extensive experience in the aviation sector who are focused on delivering operational excellence and a positive experience for customers.

Source: Worldwide Flight Services