Customs

Another step toward automated customs checks

CBP Acting Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan with three of the 32 O'Hare kiosks.

New interactive screens at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are helping travelers speed their way through customs by eliminating the need to have U.S. border agents process their passports and declaration paperwork.

On Aug. 15, Customs and Border Protection held a ceremony to officially unveil the Automated Passport Control kiosks at O’Hare. The kiosks allow U.S. citizens traveling overseas to scan their passports and answer a series of questions via a touch screen for preclearance inspection. When they finish, they get a printed receipt to hand to a CBP officer. No preregistration is required, according to CBP.

The Chicago Department of Aviation said 32 kiosks were installed at O’Hare in July.  Since then, travelers’ wait times during peak periods have fallen from 50 minutes to 34 minutes.

O’Hare was part of a technology trial that included Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, where kiosks were installed in May. CBP worked with the Vancouver Airport Authority to develop and implement the system to CBP’s security and privacy specifications.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer covering acquisition, procurement and homeland security. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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