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 senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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