ORLANDO – 19 February 2014 – Orlando International Airport is the first to offer international travelers from visa waiver countries the option to 'land, touch and go', using SITA's Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to self-process for faster US border clearance. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) announced today that arriving passengers from 37 visa waiver countries can now enjoy quick and easy processing at US customs and immigration.
Orlando is the only airport in the United States to use these high-tech biometric kiosks which allow international travelers, from countries that participate in the U.S. visa waiver program, to self-process into the US. Ten biometric APC kiosks are now available for US citizens, Canadians and visa waiver travelers to complete their Customs Declaration form on a touch-screen, have their passports scanned and fingerprints and photograph taken prior to, and in preparation for, their interview with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer. The pre-processing these kiosks perform significantly reduces the time to complete the clearance process.
Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said: “These kiosks are the first to go live for international travelers arriving in the USA and are a great addition to Orlando International Airport. We have a growing number of wide-body aircraft arriving within 90 minutes of each other every afternoon and 90 percent of travelers are arriving from visa waiver countries. Since we installed these new kiosks we have seen a dramatic increase in the total number of travelers processed per minute.”
Paul Houghton, SITA President, Americas, said: “This is another great improvement in the “Orlando Experience”, the airport’s initiative to improve customer satisfaction. SITA specializes in using innovative technology to improve the passenger experience at airports around the world. Innovation in border management is a win-win situation. This change is expected to save millions of dollars for the government and the USA travel and tourism industry.”
The iBorders™ solution implemented by SITA in partnership with Vision-Box® automatically verifies and validates the passenger’s travel documents, checks flight information, captures an ICAO-compliant face image and up to 10 fingerprints, as well as obtaining the customs declaration data required by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). This full process can be completed in 90 seconds or less. At the end of the self-service process, travelers receive a receipt to be presented to the CBP officer for the final clearance, at a fast-track dedicated lane.
The kiosks are complimentary to use and do not require registration in advance; however, travelers must have previously entered the U.S. and have fingerprints on file with CBP. They are designed with the passenger experience in mind. They have intuitive, user-friendly interfaces, clear instructions and feedback, combined with quick proactive adjustments for each passenger including adjusting automatically to their height.
SITA is in discussions with international airports across the USA to install these kiosks as quickly as possible to help reduce the unwelcome waiting times which international travelers have experienced in recent years.
A paper outlining the efficiencies that Phase III APC Kiosks can deliver is available here.