DHS expands global trusted traveler program

Global Entry to open at 13 more airports on Aug. 24

The Homeland Security Department’s international registered traveler program is going strong. The program is expanding from seven airports to 20 airports starting Aug. 24, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced.

DHS started the Global Entry international trusted traveler program in June 2008 as a pilot project at three airports. It grew to seven airports last fall.

U.S. citizens and others who want to enroll in Global Entry must submit to a security check and interview and provide a fingerprint. Once enrolled, upon returning to the United States, they can use a kiosk to process their passports and scan their fingerprints. This typically results in less waiting than a manual check by U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees, DHS said.

To date, approximately 16,000 members have enrolled in Global Entry at the seven existing locations and in April, DHS signed an agreement for reciprocal treatment with airports in the Netherlands.

This month, the department will add 13 more airports to the program, Napolitano said in a news release Aug. 12.

"Expanding this vital program allows us to improve customer service at airports and concentrate our resources on higher-risk travelers,” Napolitano said.

The kiosks will open at airports in Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Newark, N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; Sanford, Fla.; Philadelphia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco and Seattle.

Meanwhile, DHS’ domestic trusted traveler program, Registered Traveler, which has been operating as a public-private partnership since 2005, has been faltering since its largest private vendor abruptly shut down operations in June.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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