August 27, 2009

Kiosks at OIA and Orlando Sanford speed some foreign arrivals through customs

Nice picture and writeup on Global Entry kiosks in Orlando. KIOSK in Colorado designed/manufactures these units. These types of complex customer-flow with id/authentication are going to multiply in the years ahead (along with implantable RFid chips which we read about yesterday :-)


Source link with picture

Orlando International Airport unveiled a new system Wednesday designed to speed the re-entry of preapproved, low-risk travelers to the United States.

The Global Entry Program allows U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and legal permanent residents to bypass the usual customs interviews by using an automated kiosk to scan their passport and make customs declarations.

The government program, which is voluntary, is expected to trim wait times in customs at OIA, which handled 1.3 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 16.8 percent from the year before.

The program, which started in June 2008 as a pilot project at three airports, is now in use at 20, including OIA and Orlando Sanford International Airport. The kiosks take about three minutes to scan a passport, collect flight information and scan the person's fingerprints. Each traveler gets a receipt that allows the person to exit customs after retrieving his or her luggage, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which runs the program.

"CBP wants to make the entry process more streamlined, user-friendly and understandable," said Eddie Oliveros, the agency's area port director.

Airport officials said that getting low-risk U.S. travelers out of the interview lines in customs will help speed things up for foreign visitors as well.

"Not only does it help the traveler, but it helps the process," said Carolyn Fennell, an OIA spokeswoman.

Currently, about 80 percent of the international passengers make it through OIA's customs process within a half hour, according to the agency. But it can take longer at other airports.

"If you're a frequent traveler and you don't want to wait in line in Miami or JFK, you can use the kiosk," Oliveros said.

About 16,000 people have already applied for and been enrolled in the program, and the system has been used 51,000 times at the various airports combined. In addition to U.S. citizens and residents, customs has the ability to screen Dutch travelers using the automated system and said it may reach agreements with other countries in the future.

The application fee for the program is $100, which is good for a five-year enrollment, and each applicant has to go through a two-step screening process.

The online application, at www.globalentry.gov, requires biographical information, work history, a valid address, document information and a payment. Applicants then have to attend an in-person interview with the customs agency to confirm their identity and immigration status, submit fingerprints and verify travel documents.

Sara K. Clarke can be reached at 407-420-5664 or [email protected]

Posted by staff at August 27, 2009 08:15 AM