The United States plans to expand
U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance operations to ten foreign
airports in nine countries, Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security said
The U.S. is beginning negotiations
for preclearance programs at Brussels Airport, Belgium; Punta Cana Airport,
Dominican Republic; Narita International Airport, Japan; Amsterdam Airport
Schipol, Netherlands; Oslo Airport, Norway; Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain;
Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden; Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey; and London
Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport, United Kingdom. Last year, nearly 20
million passengers traveled from these ten airports to the US.
Preclearance means travelers go
through immigration, customs, and agriculture inspection by a CBP officer before
boarding a direct flight to the United States. CBP officers stationed abroad do
the screening, which conform to U.S. security screening standards.
The U.S. already has preclearance
facilities in 15 overseas airports. These include Dublin and Shannon in
Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Calgary, Toronto,
Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada; and Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Last year, CBP cleared over 16
million passengers through these preclearance locations.
“CBP’s preclearance operations are
an important step in the U.S. government’s effort to prevent terrorism from
coming to our borders,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.