Commissioner Kerlikowske Announces 2 Million Global Entry Members
CBP has introduced new technology and reduced wait times at airports around the country in Commissioner Kerlikowske’s first year
WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kerlikowske announced today a new milestone for Global Entry—enrolling its two millionth member. Global Entry, a CBP trusted traveler program, provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry currently accounts for an average of 9 percent of all international air arrivals.
In just two fiscal years, CBP has nearly quadrupled Global Entry membership—from 431,004 members in FY12 to more than 1.6 million members in FY14. Global Entry kiosks are located in 42 U.S airports and 12 Preclearance airports where members are processed in about a minute. Global Entry members also receive the added benefit of being pre-eligible to participate in TSAPre✓™, the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited screening program.
“CBP’s commitment to improving the international arrivals experience for travelers has been evident during my first year as commissioner,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “We have met and surpassed numerous goals and have reduced wait times at airports across the country, all while welcoming more travelers than ever and maintaining our primary mission—security.”
CBP met its goal of expanding Automated Passport Control (APC) to 25 locations by the end of 2014 in October with the addition of APC kiosks in Washington Dulles International Airport, and ended the year with a total of 31 airports equipped with the self-service kiosks.
APC expedites the re-entry process for U.S., Canadian and eligible Visa Waiver Program international travelers by allowing passengers to submit their customs declaration and biographic information electronically at self-service kiosks. At some locations, APC kiosks have reduced wait times by as much as 25-40 percent.
CBP launched Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry into the United States, in August at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Android and iPhone users can download the app for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Last month the program was expanded to Miami International Airport.
APC and MPC do not require pre-approval, are free to use and do not collect any new information on travelers. As a result, travelers experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing. These programs allow CBP officers to focus less on administrative tasks and more on law enforcement operations which ultimately results in enhanced security and a streamlined inspection process for citizens and visitors alike.
With the expansion of Trusted Traveler Programs, APC, and MPC, average wait times were down 13 percent at the top 10 airports in FY14.
These innovations have not been limited to the air environment. For those traveling by car, CBP announced the addition of the Border Wait Time app to the Apple App Store and Google Play in December. The app is a one-stop shop for cross border travel and provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry. Travelers can locate the three ports of entry closest to their location and then map the best route to the crossing of their choice.
CBP constantly strives to make traveler’s entry into the United States as fast, intuitive and paperless as possible, and is working towards eliminating paper forms like the customs declaration form, expanding the number of foreign visitors that can use Automated Passport Control kiosks, and rolling out Mobile Passport Control to a significant number of airports this year.
This year, the United States also intends to enter into negotiations to expand air preclearance operations to new locations. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States can be completed before departure at foreign airports instead. Currently, preclearance operations take place at 15 airports in six different countries.