U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently launched the Global Entry program at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and interactive Global Entry kiosk demonstrations for invited guests and news media. Joining CBP Area Port Director Patty Fitzpatrick at this event were partners and stakeholders who were excited to see this convenient and secure trusted traveler initiative expand to the CLT Airport.
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. It is the quick and easy express pass through the U.S. international air arrivals area and reduces average wait times by more than 70 percent. Having the Global Entry program at CLT Airport will now allow CBP officers the opportunity to focus on high risk international travelers that need additional attention.
"The program has been enthusiastically and overwhelmingly received by the traveling public," said Patty Fitzpatrick, area port director for CBP Charlotte. "Within a week of going on line, all 60 of the available appointments for April were reserved and as of the opening day, 22 appointments for May had been filled."
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. More than 278,000 members have enrolled in Global Entry thus far and have used the designated kiosks more than 1.9 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.
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.