The US gateway has unveiled eight new BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks, which at some airports have helped speed up US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing times by close to 90%.
Such improved efficiencies are expectyed to lead to shorter waits for travellers, fewer missed connections and cost and space savings, says Oakland International Airport (OAK).
The technology was developed by Innovative Travel Solutions, an independent business unit within Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
They are currently available at over 20 international airports, including the world’s top two busiest airports, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
“We are thrilled to partner with the Port of Oakland to improve the international travel experience for passengers flying through OAK,” says Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.
“BorderXpress provides a quick, easy and secure alternative to the traditional full clearance with a US Customs and Border Protection officer by partially automating the inspection declaration process, cutting wait times dramatically.
"As a result, both Oakland Airport and its passengers walk away happier knowing they’re receiving the best and most efficient service available today.”
For those accustomed to traditional customs procedures, the changes will be noticeable, says OAK.
Instead of filling out a declaration card and taking travel documents to a CBP officer, eligible passengers choosing to use APC can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the US CBP customs-control area.
Eligible travellers include US and Canadian passport holders, US Permanent Residents, and eligible international passengers with Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) forms.
Users then follow the on-screen instructions to scan their passport, use the touch screen to answer the customs declaration questions, receive a receipt confirming their information, and proceed to the CBP officer to finalise processing.
The addition comes as OAK undergoes renovation of its Terminal 1, several new route announcements, an 8.4% increase in annual passenger traffic, and the introduction of new amenities.
Port of Oakland's acting director of aviation, Kristi McKenney, applauds the addition as an important positive step continuing to improve the travel experience for OAK customers.
“Oakland is very much focused on continually improving the travel experience for our customers," she enthuses.
"We are excited to have expanded our flight service to Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway last year, and will launch new service to London-Gatwick in May.
"The new BorderXpress APC equipment has a track record of improving efficiency at the airports where it currently exists, and we look forward to this service to our customers.”