The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced today that Chicago Midway International Airport will in the first quarter of next year launch the innovative Automated Passport Control (APC) program to help travelers move more quickly through the U.S. border clearance process by entering information at a self-service kiosk. The announcement of APC kiosks at Chicago Midway follows the implementation of this technology at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which has successfully resulted in reduced wait times for passengers arriving at O’Hare’s Terminal 5.
“This technology reinforces Chicago’s leading position as a world-class destination for business and leisure travelers and builds upon continued efforts to make Chicago O’Hare the most convenient global gateway in the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Having two of the first airports in the U.S. to implement this new technology demonstrates how serious we are about making Chicago the first, best and most welcoming city in the country.”
The use of APC at O’Hare has significantly changed the passenger experience in the international arrivals hall by increasing the flow of passengers through primary inspection, reducing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wait times and misconnects for travelers. With initial CDA data reporting the average wait time during peak hours to has been reduced by 16 minutes or 33 percent, while the number of passengers waiting over 60 minutes has reduced by 58 percent. Chicago was the first city in the country to utilize the APC kiosks technology; today’s announcement will make Chicago the first city in the country to have this expedited processing technology at two airports.
“The APC program is another example of how the CDA is striving to create a ‘best in class’ experience for travelers at Midway International Airport,” said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “Passengers arriving at both Midway and O’Hare’s Terminal 5 will experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and faster processing because of this innovative program and the extraordinary cooperation between CDA, CBP and our airline partners.”
APC was developed by Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) and CBP. The APC system offers U.S. and Canadian passport-holding passengers an automated process through CBP’s Primary Inspection area. Instead of filling out a declaration card, passengers who are eligible and choose to use APC can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the CBP area. Travelers will be prompted to answer a series of questions at the touch screen self-service kiosk. Once passengers have completed the series of questions, a receipt will be issued. Travelers then bring their passport, travel information and receipt to a CBP officer for verification. APC does not require pre-registration or a fee, is easy to use and maintains the highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal data or information. As a result, travellers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and faster processing but will also be assured that the safety and security of passengers, employees and visitors remains a top priority for the CDA.
APC increases efficiency during CBP processing by transferring data collection duties to passengers who enter their information using a self-service kiosk. By removing the administrative responsibilities for a CBP officer to scan a traveler’s passport and verify their paper Customs declaration, the time spent with a CBP officer is greatly reduced.