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Midway Upgrades Technology to Improve Customs Processing for International Travelers

August 23, 2016 Airport No Comments Print Print Email Email

67c6f94e-78b7-4ca8-9638-0a84a549f2e2The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announces it has upgraded and expanded Automated Passport Control (APC) and Global Entry technology at Midway International Airport to allow international travelers to move more quickly and efficiently through  the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) clearance process.

 “In recent years, the number of international passengers traveling through Midway has greatly increased thanks to a number of new destinations that have been added within Mexico and Canada,” said Ginger S. Evans, Commissioner, CDA. “We’ve expanded APC and Global Entry technology to ensure Midway will continue to provide quick and convenient service to passengers even as international traffic continues to grow.”
APC helps travelers move more quickly through the CBP clearance process by allowing them to enter information at a self-service kiosk – without pre-registration or a required fee. APC has been shown to reduce wait times by up to 50 percent and significantly improve the international arrival experience. Four additional APC kiosks have been installed in Midway’s Federal Inspection Service (FIS) area for a total of 10 kiosks now available for travelers. All of the APC kiosks have been upgraded with fingerprint readers, light bars and additional language options to expand the amount of travelers who are eligible to use APC. These are the first major enhancements made to the APC system at Midway since it was first installed in March 2014.
Travelers who can use the APC self-service kiosks at Midway now include all of the following:
  • US Passport Holders
  • US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) cardholders
  • Canadian Passport Holders
  • Returning ESTA travelers from one of the 38 Visa Waiver Countries (clickhere for more information about ESTA)
  • US Visa holders that have a B1/B2 visa
  • Foreign Operating Aircrew with a C1/D visa
Prior to the recent upgrades, only U.S. and Canadian passport holders were eligible to use APC at Midway.
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A new Global Entry kiosk has also been installed in Midway’s FIS area. Global Entry is a U.S. CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Midway now has three Global Entry kiosks available for travelers. For more information about Global Entry clickhere.
There are currently 77 international flights a week to Midway from countries including Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
The number of international travelers at Midway has increased in recent years with the addition of several new international destinations added from Chicago by Southwest Airlines, Volaris Airlines and Porter Airlines. In 2015, nearly 780,000 international passengers traveled through Midway, representing a 31 percent increase over 2014. International passenger traffic has continued to increase at Midway through the first six months of 2016 by more than three percent over last year.
In 2013, Chicago became the first city in the country to utilize the BorderXpress APC technology at O’Hare International Airport. The APC system at O’Hare significantly changed the passenger experience in the international arrivals hall by increasing the flow of passengers through primary inspection and reducing CBP wait times.
APC was developed by Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) and CBP. The APC system offers an automated process through CBP’s Primary Inspection area. Instead of filling out a declaration card, passengers who are eligible and choose to use APC can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the CBP area. Travelers are prompted to answer a series of questions at the touch screen self-service kiosk. Once passengers have completed the series of questions, a receipt is issued. Travelers then bring their passport, travel information and the receipt to a CBP officer for verification, ensuring the appropriate security measures are in place.
By removing the administrative responsibilities for a CBP officer to scan a traveler’s passport and verify their paper Customs declaration, the time spent with a CBP officer is greatly reduced.  At the same time, APC maintains the highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal data or information.

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