The Future Of... Passport Control
Customs officials describe it as your ticket to get out of line. SmartPlanet correspondent Sumi Das looks at the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program, which uses automated kiosks to help get you out of the airport and to your destination faster.
>> Sumi Das: It's the last thing you want to encounter after a long, international flight, slow-moving lines and a serious government official asking lots of questions.
Speaker: Any food, alcohol, or inaudible?
>> Sumi Das: A necessary security step, clearing US Customs and passport control isn't going to disappear. But in the future, it may be quick and painless.
Speaker: Thank you very much.
>> Sumi Das: Created by customs and border protection, the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program replaces this with this kiosk.
Speaker: You don't have to get into the line that everybody else is getting into, and when there are four or five planeloads of passengers all at the same time, it's kind of nice to know that you're not standing behind a thousand other people.
>> Sumi Das: The program is currently available at seven major airports in the US, including Washington Dulles and Chicago O'Hare. Thirteen more airports will offer Global Entry by the end of 2009, among them, San Francisco International.
Music You start by scanning your passport, which needs to be machine-readable. The automated kiosk guides you through the rest. Travelers are prompted to provide fingerprints, scanned right at the kiosk, then answer Customs declarations questions, meaning no need to fill out any forms. Start to finish should only take about a minute. If everything's in order, the kiosk prints a receipt the travelers take to an expedited exit point. From there, it's one to Customs and then baggage claim. Should Customs and Border Protection require additional information, travelers will be redirected to passport control. The program isn't open to everyone, and there are a few barriers to entry. To enroll, travelers must submit an application, pay a $100.00 fee, pass a background check, and submit to an interview with a Customs and Border Protection officer. And only US citizens or permanent residents may apply.
Speaker: The whole point is security. These are trusted travelers that we're allowing this privilege to go through, so we want to make sure that the person that we're giving this status to doesn't have any issues.
>> Sumi Das: The future of passport control, it may make the long journey home a little bit faster. For Smart Planet, I'm Sumi Das.
==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====