In November 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security identified an additional list of international airports for potential Pre-Clearance expansion.
What is US Pre-Clearance?
A DHS program that has US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting entry checks on US-bound travelers in a foreign airport, before the travelers board their flight to a US destination. Conducting border checks at the departure airport allows travelers the opportunity to disembark the aircraft in a domestic terminal upon arrival in the US. This can help those with onward travel in the US and short connection times.
The jury is still out re the benefits to participating foreign airlines and airports, especially with CBP’s new model that has participating airports picking up the tab.
New airports announced this month include:
- El Dorado Intl. Airport (BOG), Bogota, Columbia
- Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Edinburgh Airport (EDI), Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Keflavik International Airport (KEF), Iceland
- Mexico City International Airport (MEX), Mexico City
- Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP), Milan, Italy
- Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO), Rome, Italy
- Kansai International Airport (KIX), Osaka, Japan
- Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), Brazil
- Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), St. Maarten
This adds to an existing list of 9 possible Pre-Clearance locations selected by DHS in May 2015, comprising:
- Brussels Airport, Belgium
- Punta Cana Airport, Dominican Republic
- London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
- Manchester Airport, United Kingdom
- Narita International Airport, Japan
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands
- Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Norway
- Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain
- Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey
Of note, the airports on these lists have not necessarily agreed to implement Pre-Clearance. Rather, they’ve raised their hands that they’re interested in engaging with the US Government to learn more. In fact, there are countries like Sweden in discussions with CBP regarding Pre-Clearance that don’t show up on these lists at all.
How many airports will implement is yet to be seen. At a minimum, we are hopeful that designated airports/governments and the US Government will craft innovative models, rather than another US border booth in an international hub. Put another way, hopefully they’ll see it as an innovation opportunity!
To date, US Pre-Clearance has been implemented in the following locations:
- Calgary International Airport, Alberta, Canada
- Edmonton International Airport, Alberta, Canada
- Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport Level 2, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Montreal Trudeau International Airport, Quebec, Canada
- Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport, Ontario, Canada
- Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada
- Vancouver International Airport International Terminal – Level 3, Canada
- Winnipeg International Airport, Manitoba, Canada
- Bahamas – Freeport
- Bahamas – Nassau
- F. Wade International Airport, St. George, Bermuda
- Shannon Airport, County Clare, Ireland
- Dublin Airport, Dublin, Ireland
- Abu Dhabi International Airport, United Arab Emirates
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