US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced that 11 new foreign airports, located in nine countries, have been selected for possible Preclearance expansion.
If Preclearance operations are expanded to these airports, travelers would undergo immigration, customs, and agriculture inspection by US Customs and Border Protection before boarding a flight to the United States rather than upon arrival.
According to Homeland Security, in addition to enhancing security preclearance generates the potential for significant economic benefits for the US and international partners by reducing wait times at domestic gateways, creating an overall increase in clearance capacity, facilitating quicker connections to US domestic flights, and maximizing aircraft and gate utilization.
The 11 airports identified for possible Preclearance locations include: El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Bogota, Colombia; Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Edinburgh Airport (EDI) in Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Iceland; Mexico City International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City, Mexico; Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan, Italy; Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka, Japan; Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Rome, Italy; São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in St. Maarten.
More than 10 million travelers fly to the United States from these airports each year, according to Homeland Security.
“Expanding Preclearance operations has been a priority of mine as Secretary. Preclearance allows DHS to screen individuals prior to boarding a flight, which means we are able to identify threats long before they arrive in the United States,” said Secretary Johnson. “I look forward to the opportunity to grow our Preclearance operations in the Western Hemisphere, particularly into South America where CBP does not currently operate a Preclearance location.”