Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has expanded and launched more new services for international passengers.
The Texas airport says it is the only U.S. airport that offers Automated Passport Control© (APC) with automated passport processing for eligible international passengers, passengers from all 38 visa waiver countries, passengers with only carry-on bags and Lawful Permanent Residents (citizens with “green cards”).
“Since the implementation of Automated Passport Control we have seen great results with more than 70 percent of all international customers automatically processed through the APCs,” said Sean Donohue, CEO at DFW Airport. “Working in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we have been able to shorten wait times for international travelers passing through CBP even with an 8.46% increase in overall passenger traffic.”
- DFW expanded its leading edge APC technology from 30 self-processing kiosks to 51
- launched Carry E-Z© lines, labeled in green in the International Arrivals Hall, which enable international passengers without checked bags to clear the CBP arrival area in one step and move directly to the landside concourse bypassing the baggage claim process
- instituted automatic processing for citizens from all 38 visa waiver countries in cooperation with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- and became the first and only U.S. airport to begin automatic processing of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (citizens with green cards)
DFW also offers Global Entry with 20 automatic processing stations also recently expanded.
“CBP is committed to working with its partners to implement solutions to improve efficiency while ensuring our primary mission to secure our nation remains a priority,” said Cleatus P. Hunt Jr., U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s area port director. “APC and One-Stop (called Carry E-Z©) are the latest examples of our commitment to facilitate legitimate travel in a secure manner with less delay.”
DFW was recognized by President Obama in May for leveraging technology to reduce wait times by nearly 40% with its APC kiosks. The President ordered the technology to be implemented at the nation’s top 25 airports.
“Our ultimate goal is to be the preeminent global hub for passengers around the world,” said Donohue. “Making the entry process to the U.S. the most expedient, secure and convenient for travelers helps put DFW in the forefront in the minds of international travelers.”
DFW has not only developed new systems and services, but is working to address every step in the process once an international passenger lands. On July 15, DFW will expand CBP baggage egress from 7 to 13 positions and the Terminal D22 checkpoint will grow from 4 to 6 lanes to better accommodate international passengers connecting on other flights.
DFW’s Automated Passport Control, a proprietary system first implemented last fall is part of an overall passenger facilitation strategy which includes a total of 51 kiosks that speed up the entry process. DFW’s APC is also processing more than 70 percent of arriving customers with an average processing time of 14 minutes or less.
“Now, all of our 51 APC kiosks are capable of handling US citizens, Canadian visitors, Visa Waiver customers and LPRs…and it’s making a big difference in the customer experience,” said Donohue.
In its first few months, DFW’s APC was processing about half of DFW’s international arrivals. On June 21, 2014, DFW saw the highest international passenger entries ever in one day as more than 12,500 international travelers entered the U.S. at DFW with over 9,100 of these travelers, or 73 percent, processed through DFW’s APC. June also saw another milestone achievement for DFW with total travelers processed by APC exceeding one million since its automated system was implemented last October.
In addition to the latest new services, DFW has worked with federal agencies, legislators and industry partners to implement innovative solutions to improve the customer experience and facilitate processing international travelers, including early adoption of federal trusted traveler programs (Global Entry and TSA Pre-√), payment of some overtime costs for CBP officers, and support for additional staffing for CBP starting next year.
For the summer season running from June 1 through August 31, 2014, DFW expects to host 17 million customers, which would make the summer of 2014 the busiest summer ever at DFW and 2.4% above the same period last year.