For its location a mile above sea level, Denver is known as "the mile high city." Denver is also recognized as one of two cities in America with eight professional sports teams. Now, the capital of the state of Colorado adds another distinguishing marking.
On March 20, U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched the Global Entry program at Denver International Airport with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and interactive Global Entry kiosk demonstrations for invited guests and news media. Officially, the system became operational on March 19, the day before the media event.
"We are very excited for the program to come here. There has been a lot of interest, so I am confident that the program will do pretty well," said LaShanda Jones, CBP Denver area port director, during her opening remarks.
Global Entry is a voluntary expedited clearance initiative for pre-approved, low risk international travelers, who are processed by biometric identification using a designated kiosk, rather than waiting in line for entry processing by a CBP officer. Global Entry reduces average wait times by more than 70 percent.
"The main benefit to CBP is that the program will allow CBP to focus its resources and efforts on travelers and goods we know less, while facilitating low-risk travelers," said Larry Panetta, Global Entry program manager. "The benefit to the traveling public is an expedited, streamlined entry process into the U.S."
Joining CBP leadership at this event were many partners and stakeholders, including Kim Day aviation manager of Denver International Airport, who were excited to see this convenient and secure trusted traveler initiative expand to the Colorado area.
"This forward-looking program illustrates our government's strong commitment to both protecting the public, while providing a quality service to the travelers who utilize our airports," affirmed Ken Greene deputy manager of operations, public safety and security at Denver International Airport.
Denver International Airport has two Global Entry kiosks, conveniently located at the main terminal international arrivals, and within the CBP Global Entry enrollment center which will open on April 2 for applicant interviews.
Announced as a pilot program in 2008, Global Entry was established as a permanent voluntary program last month. It now operates at 24 U.S. airports including the recently added airports in Minneapolis, Charlotte, Denver and Phoenix.
This expansion will make expedited clearance through the Global Entry program available at airports serving 97 percent of international travelers arriving in the United States. Nearly 300,000 members have enrolled in Global Entry thus far and have used the designated kiosks more than two million times. And, as an added advantage, Global Entry members are eligible to participate in other programs such as the Transportation Security Administration Pre-Check passenger expedited screening program.