Stockholm Arlanda Airport has announced plans to become the first airport in Scandinavia to introduce US preclearance, which would allow US immigration and customs inspection to be carried out when a passenger departs from Stockholm instead of upon arrival in the USA, facilitating a better passenger experience, a smoother arrival in the USA and the potential to attract new non-stop routes to the USA.
The Swedish government will study the possibility of introducing USA preclearance at the airport, which if approved would make Sweden the second country in Europe after Ireland to conduct an immigration and customs check on passengers from Sweden to the USA upon their departure. Today almost 500,000 passengers fly from Sweden to various destinations in the USA.
“US preclearance makes it easier to fly from Sweden to the USA and would be a very important step in improving Swedish connectivity. While we await a final decision, this is now being integrated into the development plans for Stockholm Arlanda Airport, with our aim to be the leading airport in Scandinavia,” said Torborg Chetkovich, group CEO of Swedavia.
Swedavia is currently working on a SEK 13bn (US$1.5bn) development plan that will meet the growing demand for air links with countries outside Europe. The possibility of US preclearance will now be fully integrated into development plans and if approved by both Swedish and US government authorities, Swedavia estimates that the building process would take about two years.