DHS looks to expand airport passenger pre-clearance in 9 countries

4 Jun 15

, UNITED STATES

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to expand air preclearance for travelers from nine countries: Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Preclearance allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to inspect passengers at a foreign airport before they embark on a plane. While CBP has said it is an important terrorism-prevention measure, travelers can benefit from avoiding long lines upon arrival in the U.S.

“Preclearance is a win-win for the traveling public,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement May 29. “It provides aviation and homeland security, and it reduces wait times upon arrival at the busiest U.S. airports.”

The U.S. is expected to begin negotiations with the nine countries. Preclearance is already available at 15 airports in six countries, including Aruba, the Bahamas (Freeport and Nassau), Bermuda, Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg), Ireland (Dublin and Shannon), and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi). According to the CBP, more than 16 million passengers went through preclearance last year.

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