US and Canadian citizens arriving from abroad, as well as travelers from the 38 Visa Waiver Countries who are also registered with the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) programme, are eligible to use the new machines.
APC kiosks allow international passengers, including family groups, to submit their customs declaration form and biographic information electronically, thereby reducing the time they spend with a CBP officer.
Easy-to-follow instructions guide the user through the process, which includes scanning your passport, taking a photograph using the kiosk, answering questions, and fingerprinting for non-US citizens.
Users then receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to a CBP officer to complete their entry into the United States.
According to officials, individuals can complete the process within 90 seconds and a family of three within four minutes.
“After a long flight, the last thing passengers want to do is stand in line to process through federal inspection to enter the US,” admits Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) executive director, Gina Marie Lindsey.
“With faster processing times, shorter lines, and increased convenience these APC kiosks bring to LAX, we expect the passenger experience of the millions of international passengers who travel through LAX each year to improve substantially."
The $2-million project cost was funded by airport operator LAWA and two other Southern California airports. Each APC kiosk costs $36,000.
TBITEC (Tom Bradley International Terminal Equipment Company), the consortium of the 39 airlines operating in TBIT, will fund the estimated $1.6-million annual cost for staff to direct and assist travellers with questions on using the new machines.
All the kiosks are under the jurisdiction of and connected to CBP’s operations at LAX.
LAX officials expect nearly 70 million total passengers will use LAX this year, of which approximately 19 million will be international travellers.