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Chicago Department of Aviation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Launch Mobile Passport Control at O’Hare International Airport

April 25, 2015 Airport No Comments Email Email

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced the expansion of Mobile Passport Control (MPC) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. MPC is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States. Eligible travelers submit their passport information and customs declaration form to CBP via a smartphone and tablet app prior to arrival. Android and iPhone users can download the Mobile Passport app for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

“On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the CDA is very pleased to partner with CBP to offer this innovative technology at our global gateway, O’Hare International Airport,” said Michael Boland, Acting Commissioner, CDA. “Mobile Passport Control is the latest of many new initiatives we have implemented at Chicago O’Hare that create a faster and more efficient CBP processing experience.”

“CBP is pleased to offer Mobile Passport Control as an option to expedite travelers’ entry into the United States at four of the country’s busiest international airports,” said Assistant Commissioner for Office of Field Operations Todd C. Owen. “CBP remains committed to making the international arrivals experience as traveler-friendly as possible through innovation and collaboration with stakeholders while maintaining the highest security standards.”

MPC currently offers U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors a more secure and efficient in-person inspection between the CBP officer and the traveler upon arrival in the United States. Much like Automated Passport Control (APC), the app does not require pre-approval, is free to use and does not collect any new information from travelers. Travelers opting to use the app will no longer have to complete a paper customs declaration form and will have access to a designated MPC lane to clear customs instead of entering the traditional CBP processing lanes. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing.

There are five easy steps to MPC:

  • Download the Mobile Passport Control App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store prior to arriving
  • Create a profile with your passport information
  • Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival in the United States
  • Submit your customs declaration form through the app to receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code.
  • Bring your passport and smartphone or tablet with your digital bar-coded receipt to a CBP officer.

“We’re very pleased to have O’Hare International Airport come on board as the fourth airport to launch Mobile Passport,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “Mobile Passport has had a fantastic response at Atlanta, Miami, and Seattle, which has cut the time in the customs line for thousands of eligible travelers entering the United States. We look forward to additional airports coming online throughout 2015.”

Last year, CBP welcomed more than 107 million international air travelers to the United States, an increase of more than 4.5 percent from the previous year. At O’Hare, annual international passenger traffic increased by nearly 5 percent to more than 10.75 million. For the first two months of 2015, international passenger volume is up nearly 10 percent.

With the addition of MPC, O’Hare now offers five ways for passengers to clear CBP processing: MPC, APC, One-Stop, Global Entry and traditional CBP lanes. The implementation of APC has significantly changed the passenger experience in the international arrivals hall at O’Hare by increasing the flow of passengers through primary inspection-reducing wait times and misconnects for travelers. In the first full year of operation for APC kiosks, average wait times at O’Hare were cut in half to just 15 minutes.

The MPC pilot launched in August 2014 for eligible travelers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and as of last month is available to passengers arriving at Miami International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. MPC is expected to expand to more airports later this spring and CBP has committed to expand the program to the 20 airports with the highest volumes of international travelers by the end of 2016.

This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) and their technical partner in partnership with CBP. Information about Mobile Passport, including how to download, user eligibility and other frequently asked questions, is available on CBP.gov.

MPC is just one part of CBP’s resource optimization strategy which is transforming the way CBP does business in land, air and sea environments. As part of its commitment to innovation, CBP installed APC kiosks at 34 locations and automated the I-94 form. CBP has also enrolled more than 3.5 million travelers in trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. These programs allow CBP officers to process travelers safely and efficiently while enhancing security and reducing operational costs.

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