On August 24, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will add 13 airports to its Global Entry pilot program, which streamlines the arrival process for enrolled U.S. travelers returning from international destinations.
The program will now include airports in Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Newark, N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Sanford, Fla. (Orlando); San Francisco; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Seattle.
Global Entry began in June 2008 at New York’s JFK International, Washington-Dulles, and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental airports, and last fall Global Entry added four additional enrollment centers and kiosks at airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. The program now includes the top-20 arrival airports in the country.
Global Entry uses biometric identification to improve the screening process. Once enrolled, U.S. travelers returning to the U.S. can bypass the Customs and Border Patrol’s passport-control line and proceed to a Global Entry kiosk, which scans machine-readable passports and compares the traveler’s fingerprints with biometric data on file. A digital photograph is taken, and the traveler is then prompted to answer several questions posted on the kiosk touch screen. Once this process is complete, the traveler receives a receipt, which must be presented to the CBP officer before leaving the inspection area.
According to the CBP, about 16,000 people are already enrolled in the program, which, the agency claims, can reduce average wait times by 75 percent. The participation cost is $100 for five years. Applicants must pass a security threat assessment and appear for an in-person interview.