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DFW Airport Implements Automated Passport Control System to Reduce Wait Times in Customs

February 13, 2014 Airport No Comments Email Email

DFW International Airport today officially unveiled 30 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks, which are significantly reducing wait times for U.S. and Canadian citizens who arrive at DFW from international travels. 

The system is alleviating lines by allowing returning travelers to enter their own passport information on touch-screens and register their return to the country electronically.

“The Automated Passport Control system is a simple and efficient way for U.S. and Canadian travelers to clear Customs when arriving at DFW,” said Sean Donohue, chief executive officer at DFW Airport. “The collaboration with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has enabled us to deliver a better overall customer experience by nearly eliminating wait times in the arrivals hall.”

The system has been operating since late October, and more than 320,000 customers have used the kiosks in its first three months, representing 55% of DFW’s arriving passengers. The system also allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to re-allocate more resources to greeting foreign passport holders, shortening those lines as well.

“CBP is proud to partner with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to transform the international arrivals process here,” saidJudson W. Murdock II, CBP Houston Director of Field Operations. “As one of the world’s largest and busiest airports, DFW recognizes the importance of having the highest standards of excellence in both security and traveler facilitation and bringing APC technology is indicative of that commitment.”

DFW’s Automated Passport Control is the latest in a number of initiatives being implemented at DFW Airport to reduce wait times and speed the entry for international travelers.

In August of 2013, DFW was selected as one of six locations approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency for a new pilot program that allows port locations to provide funding for additional Customs staff, overtime and technology.

Other projects aimed at improving the international arrivals process include:

  • Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program: Gives pre-approved travelers the ability to bypass the traditional passport lines and skip paper Customs declaration forms when re-entering the country through DFW.
  • TSA Pre-Check™ Program: Allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs who are flying on participating airlines to receive expedited screening benefits.

In the next few months, DFW plans to add an additional 24 kiosks to serve customers that are U.S. permanent residents as well as those who come from countries that hold visa waiver agreements with the United States, including the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, South Korea, Australia and Spain.

Also later this year, DFW plans to implement a lane for “One Stop” service for international arriving customers who do not have checked baggage.

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