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Detroit Metro Airport Launches Automated Passport Control (APC) Technology to Speed International Passenger Processing

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Delta Air Lines recently completed installation of 30 new Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in the McNamara Terminal international arrivals / federal inspection services area. The new kiosks, which were deployed in late June, are already dramatically reducing the processing times for many arriving international passengers at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), and customers using the kiosks have seen wait times cut by as much as 40% on the initial international flights using the technology.

“These new APC machines help maintain the safety and security of our airport while improving efficiency,” said airport authority CEO Tom Naughton. “With international passenger traffic increasing 23 percent the last five years at DTW, it is important that we stay ahead of the curve, and these new kiosks are a great example of how working together with our partners, we continue to improve our travelers’ airport experience here in Detroit.”

APC is an easy-to-use self-service kiosk that allows passengers to submit their declaration and biographic information electronically, and reduce the time they spend with a CBP officer. Eligible arriving international passengers proceed directly to a self-service APC kiosk in the passport control area. Passengers are then prompted to scan their passports, use the kiosk’s camera to take a photograph, answer simple biographic and flight information questions, and complete the standard Customs Declaration questions using the kiosk’s touch-screen.

Passengers using APC no longer need to fill out a paper Customs Declaration form. The kiosk will give passengers a receipt that they will provide, along with their passports, to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the U.S. The CBP officer is then able to focus on identity verification, admissibility and questioning to determine purpose and intent of travel, thereby reducing processing times.

“It is imperative that any technological improvements utilized by CBP advance our dual role of protecting the American people and facilitating legitimate travelers,” said Devin Chamberlain, CBP Area Port Director, Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “The APC program moves legitimate travelers more seamlessly, and concurrently allows our officers to concentrate on document verification and enforcement. The successful implementation of this program is a testament to the quality public-private partnerships in our industry.”

“These new kiosks will improve the overall experience in Detroit for our international customers thanks to shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing for exiting customs,” said John Fechushak, Delta's vice president – Detroit. “We strive to provide our customers with an enjoyable travel experience from start to finish, and that includes customs and border protection checkpoints.”

Developed and first implemented by the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) the BorderXpress, APC system automates the administrative function of the border inspection process, reducing passenger wait times, traveler congestion and processing costs.

“We are very excited to partner with Delta Air Lines and Wayne County Airport Authority to deliver BorderXpress Automated Passport Control kiosks to major airports in the United States. Detroit Metropolitan Airport is the newest location to offer our technology to improve the passenger experience,” said Craig Richmond, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “By simplifying the customs border control process for passengers and airports alike, we are helping to end the airport waiting game.”

The 30 APC kiosks installed at the McNamara Terminal were purchased by the airport at a cost of approximately $2 million. Additional kiosks are planned for the airport’s North Terminal later this year.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 32 million passengers in 2013 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs. With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from nearly 150 non-stop destinations on four continents. In 2010, DTW ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction among large airports in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airport Satisfaction Study. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America. DTW is operated by Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport—an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility. The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations. Visit www.metroairport.com for more information.

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