Southern California’s Ontario International Airport (ONT) has significantly reduced inspection wait times for arriving international passengers thanks to new technology that automates the process required for entry into the United States.
ONT has been experiencing record passenger volumes on its direct international flights to Taiwan, Mexico and Central America. Through the first eight months of this year, the number of international passengers flying into or out of the airport more than doubled, to nearly 260,000.
The Simplified Arrival process for international travel to the United States is operated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks required for admission into the country. The technology provides travelers with a touchless process that secures and streamlines international arrivals.
“Ontario International Airport is proud to partner with CBP in providing arriving international passengers with a more convenient travel experience while also enhancing the safety and security of the inspection process,” said Atif Elkadi, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority. “As we expand our international travel options, Simplified Arrival will play a significant role in providing a more expedited and safe inspection process.”
Simplified Arrival uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document. When international travelers arrive at ONT, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. CBP’s biometric facial comparison process will compare the new photo of the traveler with a small gallery of high-quality images that the traveler has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos. This enhanced process using biometrics only takes a few seconds.
In addition, foreign travelers who have previously traveled to the US will generally no longer need to provide fingerprints as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial comparison process. US citizens and certain foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may request a manual document check instead, simply by notifying a CBP officer when they reach the primary inspection point. These travelers will be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by a CBP officer, and they will be processed in a manner consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.
CBP has a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-US citizens and has been rolling out the Simplified Arrival process at international airports across the country to secure and enhance entry into the United States with a technology upgrade.
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