The US Customs & Border Protection’s (CBP’s) summer hours of operation at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have changed, resulting in passengers on some international arriving flights being bussed from Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT/Terminal B) for immigration and customs inspection.
Airport officials advise that the added bussing operations may delay passengers on the impacted flights. CBP’s new hours of operation began yesterday, Sunday, 15 May 2016 as follows:
TBIT (Terminal B): 06.00 am – midnight (no change)
Terminal 2: 11.00 am – 9.00 pm
To make the going easier, LAX is installing 28 extra Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks this month in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, boosting the number of APCs in that terminal to 68. In addition, 12 APC kiosks have been installed in Terminal 2.
Australian visitors arriving on the US Visa Waiver program who are also registered with CBP’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) are eligible to use the kiosks, along with travellers from the 37 other Visa Waiver Countries who meet those criteria. US and Canadian citizens arriving from abroad are also eligible to use the kiosks.
A total of 230 APCs are planned to be installed in terminals with international flights. LAX is investing more than USD 12 million in this technology to improve efficiency and international guest experience, a statement issued Saturday said.
APCs allow international travellers, including family groups, to submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically, thereby reducing the time they spend with a CBP officer.
Passengers on international flights arriving outside CBP’s operating hours at Terminal 2 will be bussed to TBIT for processing. Terminal 2 is the second busiest international terminal at LAX, serving more than 5.1 million total passengers in 2015, of which more than 4.1 million were international and more than one million were domestic travellers.
The modified/reduced operational hours at LAX are said to be “due to an effort to create staffing efficiencies and to improve operational issues”.
CBP’s modified/reduced hours of operation will require LAX Airport Operations to bus passengers of approximately 18 daily flights. An estimated 2700 arriving passengers may be affected.
LAX officials have implemented several measures in coordination with the affected airlines and their ground-services contractors. Some of the mitigation efforts include:
- Temporarily hiring approximately a dozen contracted bus drivers to assist with additional bussing requirements.
- Installing the extra APC kiosks.
- Coordinating with impacted airlines to ensure flight-information displays located in their terminals’ arrivals areas are updated immediately and announcements made over the public-address systems so meeters-and-greeters know which terminal arriving passengers will exit.
- Ensuring airline customer-service representatives, LAX Guest Experience personnel, and volunteers in the public information booths are prepared for the changes and can assist passengers and meeters-and-greeters.
- Communicating the CBP modified/reduced staffing hours to airport-wide stakeholders, including airlines and their ground service providers, concessionaires, ground transportation services, partner agencies, etc.
Airport officials also encourage frequent international travellers to enrol in CBP’s Global Entry Program to expedite them through customs and immigration inspection. The $100 registration for Global Entry lasts five years.
LAX is the seventh busiest airport in the world and third in the USA. LAX served more than 74.9 million passengers in 2015.
Edited by Peter Needham