Commissioner Kerlikowske's Remarks at the U.S. Travel Association IPW 2016 in New Orleans
Thank you, Roger, and I’d like to thank the U.S. Travel Association for hosting this event.
USTA members are key partners in helping us fulfill our commitment to border security.
That’s because your members really understand our mission – and how high the stakes are.
Together, we’re working towards providing a best-in-class international arrivals experience to an ever-increasing number of visitors while maintaining the highest standards of national security.
So I am pleased to announce here today that CBP has recently enrolled its three millionth customer in Global Entry, bringing the number of enrollees in our Trusted Traveler Programs to 5 million.
Let me take a minute to put things in perspective in terms of how important Global Entry is to both security and travel facilitation. On any given day CBP officers at U.S. international airports process nearly 300,000 incoming passengers and crew. Against this backdrop, CBP officers must carefully balance uncompromising vigilance with efficiency in the inspection process.
More than 112 million international travelers arrived at U.S. airports during Fiscal Year 2015, a 5 percent increase over 2014. And over the next five years, international travel is projected to increase at an annual rate of around 4 percent. But as you know, international air arrivals are already up by 7 percent compared to this time last year! So this is an exciting and challenging environment, and CBP has risen to task by using technology to expedite the entry of lawful travelers.
Global Entry is transforming the way we do business. Global Entry members get to use automated kiosks, bypassing regular passport control queues and entering the United States.
And Global Entry members are also eligible for TSA PreCheck. Members must be pre-approved and designated as a low-risk traveler, helping us lower risk and increase security.
Global Entry applications have increased by 77 percent this year, and Global Entry kiosks are currently available to members at 47 U.S. airports and 13 of our international preclearance airport locations. It’s also worth noting that the average processing time for Global Entry members at a kiosk is approximately one minute. The kiosks have been used more than 22 million times, saving more than 300,000 officer hours and allowing CBP to shift focus to higher priority security issues. This also means less time in line for busy travelers.
Thanks to Global Entry – and other technology-driven solutions like Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control – travelers arriving in the United States are being screened and processed more efficiently than ever before. That’s good for you, and it’s good for the America’s security.
Before I wrap up, let me just mention one more thing – it’s Open Season for CBP’s Preclearance program, which continues to expand. We’re inviting foreign airports to submit letters of interest if they want to bring the benefits of Preclearance to their own backyards.
As most of you know, Preclearance allows the same U.S. immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers to be completed before departure from a foreign airport. This allows for a predictable and seamless arrival process upon arrival into the U.S.
This increases capacity and lets us and our international partners jointly identify and address threats before they reach our shores.
More than 17 million travelers went through one of CBP’s Preclearance locations in Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates in Fiscal Year 2015 – accounting for over 15 percent of U.S.-bound air travel.
We announced the current Open Season last month, and that open season runs through August 1.
CBP continues to make great strides in improving the “traveler experience” while remaining focused on our mission to secure our Nation’s borders.
I’d like to thank you all for joining us here today for the announcement of this milestone in our Trusted Traveler Programs. Now, I’d be happy to take your questions.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.