Automated Passport Control Arrives at Chicago Midway

CHICAGO MDW PASSPORT CONTROLThe Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Chicago Midway International Airport on March 19 to celebrate the launch of its Automated Passport Control (APC) programme, which uses BorderXpress kiosk technology developed by Vancover International Airport (YVR).

APC is designed to help travellers move more quickly through the US customs clearance process by entering information at a self-service kiosk – without pre-registration or a required fee.  The implementation of this technology at Midway mirrors its implementation at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in July 2013, which has resulted in reduced wait times for passengers arriving at O’Hare’s International Terminal 5.

“This technology reinforces Chicago’s leading position as a world-class destination for business and leisure travelers and builds upon continued efforts to make Chicago O’Hare the most convenient global gateway in the world,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Having two of the first airports in the US to implement this new technology demonstrates how serious we are about making Chicago the first, best and most welcoming city in the country.”

The CDA says the use of BorderXpress APC kiosks at O’Hare has significantly changed the passenger experience in the international arrivals hall by increasing the flow of passengers through primary inspection, reducing CBP wait times and misconnects for travellers.  Comparing CBP data from November 2012 to February 2013 (pre-APC) to November 2013 to February 2014 (after APC), shows that average CBP wait times at O’Hare have decreased by 27.5% and that the average maximum wait time has decreased by about 15%.  In addition, during the same time periods used, passenger volume at O’Hare’s International Terminal increased by more than 100,000 (from 1.1 million passengers up to 1.2 million passengers).

Chicago O’Hare was the first US city to use the APC technology and with the addition of Midway.  Chicago the first city in the country to have this expedited processing technology at two airports.  In addition, Midway is the first airport to use the latest version of BorderXpress APC kiosks (Standard size), which provides a smaller form factor to reduce the space required for kiosks by 20%, while minimising capital costs.

“We are very pleased that the APC programme is now in place at Midway International Airport to help expedite the re-entry process for international travellers,” said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S Andolino.  “With the continued partnership between the CDA, CBP and our airline partners, travellers arriving at both of Chicago’s airports will experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and faster processing.”

There are three carriers serving eight international destinations from Midway Airport.