Officials expect the new technology – available in only one other airport in the Caribbean – to go a long way in slashing wait times, improving the airport’s efficiency and ultimately providing a more enjoyable experience for millions of visitors passing through the US pre-clearance facility at LPIA.
Provided by Vancouver Airport Authority, BorderXpress Automated Passport Control is a self-service kiosk technology, which enables US and Canadian passport holders and other eligible travellers to complete a portion of the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspection process electronically, expediting the border clearance process.
“APC will greatly improve our ability to process passengers through the airport," explains Vernice Walkine, president & CEO at Nassau Airport Development Company.
"The demand for the destination continues to grow and with more than 3.2 million passengers traveling through LPIA on an annual basis, we want to ensure that their experience at our airport is a positive one.
“Making the investment in 20 APC kiosks just makes sense from a passenger management perspective as the move will drastically reduce wait times in an area impacting more than 80% of our total airport traffic.
"The technology will benefit the destination for years to come.”
Aside from US and Canadian passport holders, passengers eligible to use the new technology include all US Lawful Permanent Residents and Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approved passport holders – international travellers from 38 countries not requiring US entry visas for stays of 90 days or less.
The new system does not require travelers to complete a paper US customs declaration form, as all questions are answered on the computer's touch screen.
Passengers simply follow the on-screen instructions to scan their passport, answer the customs declaration questions, have their photo taken and receive a confirmation receipt, which they then show to a CBP officer to finalize processing.
Six new workers have been hired by NAD as APC Ambassadors to assist travellers with the use of the kiosks.
The new technology required extensive training for NAD’s IT Department on the installation and maintenance of the 20 BorderXpress APC kiosks, and five Document Verification Officer (DVO) podiums provided by Vancouver Airport Authority’s Innovative Travel Solutions team.
George Casey, president and CEO of Vantage Airport Group, which manages the airport, told Airport World: “This important improvement to the passenger experience at LPIA is the result of collaboration on a global scale.
“Vantage was borne of the entrepreneurial spirit of Vancouver Airport Authority. It’s therefore a natural fit for our member airport to select YVR’s BorderXpress technology to improve the departure process for travellers.”
Launched at Vancouver International Airport in 2012, BorderXpress kiosks are currently available at a total of 20 airport locations across North America and the Caribbean, including New York’s John F Kennedy International, Los Angeles International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and the world’s two busiest airports, Chicago O’Hare International and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta.
LPIA is only the second international airport to offer this technology.