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It’s never a bad idea to make it easier and faster for international visitors to start spending money in your city.
Long minutes or hours snaking through Customs and Immigration may soon be over at Detroit Metro Airport.
The airport has installed $2 million worth of self-serve kiosks to speed the international arrivals lines at the airport. Thirty are already installed at the McNamara Terminal. Five more are coming to the North Terminal by the end of the year.
The kiosks allow U.S. citizens and other select passengers arriving on international flights to speed the process by 30%, airport officials said Thursday.
“It’s pretty simple and easy, especially if it lets you bypass the lines,” said traveler Jack Adams of Florence, Ky., who tried the kiosk Thursday while holding a toddler.
Kiosks let passengers scan their passports, ask customs questions and give their photo and fingerprints before seeing an immigration officer.
“It’s great for passengers and great for security,” said Thomas Naughton, CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority. Streamlining the arrivals process also should help tourism and trade in Michigan, he added.
Metro Airport has about 2.8-million international passengers a year. Most international flights are on Delta, with others on Air France, Lufthansa, and Royal Jordanian and Air Canada.
The program does not conflict or replace Global Entry, a trusted-traveler program for international travelers, said Leroy Frazier, chief CBP officer at Metro. “We do not want to diminish any benefits of Global Entry,” he said. Global Entry kiosks are separate from the new kiosks.
Delta Airlines has partnered with the airport in ensuring the kiosks are installed.
“If we can help shorten the process in any form or fashion” it’s positive, said John Fechushak, vice president for Delta Airlines in Detroit. “When you have been on a flight for 10 or 12 hours arriving into an international gateway, and (then) have to stand in line for several minutes even upwards of 30 to 60 minutes, anytime we can help shorten that process is a benefit to our customers.”