Miami International (MIA) is the latest airport in the US to implement automated border control kiosks.
The aim is to reduce waiting times and staff for US and Canadian passport holders so that more staff can be allocated to non-US and non-Canadians.
The process is still long and convoluted compared to ABC eGates in Europe and Australia but it can mean a decent improvement in the US arrival process.
MIA has installed 36 Passport Express kiosks in the North Terminal and another 12 will be installed in the South Terminal in 2014.
In theory, 4 kiosks will do the work of approximately 1 CBP officer. So the 36 kiosks in the MIA North Terminal will do the work of 9 CBP officers.
How automated border control works:
- arriving passengers go directly to one of the automated border control kiosks located in the passport control area without filling out a Customs declaration form
- at the kiosks, passengers scan their passports, have their photograph taken, fill out the Customs declaration and answer a series of questions verifying their personal and flight information
- they then get a receipt and present it and their passport to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer to finalize the inspection
Other US airports with similar automated border control kiosks:
- Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – 32 kiosks
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – 32 kiosks
- New York-JFK International Airport (JFK) Terminal 4 – 40 kiosks
Outside the US, the kiosks are in use at Vancouver International (YVR), Toronto-Pearson (YYZ), and Montreal-Trudeau (YUL).
In other parts of the world automated border control is expected and preferred as it usually faster and more pleasant.