The management of Vancouver International Airport has more than the usual vested interest in speeding international travelers through Customs — it just sold 74 Automated Passport Control BorderXpress kiosks to the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The Vancouver Airport Authority, a not-for-profit group that manages Vancouver International Airport, is in the kiosk business, and says its APC systems can reduce passengers wait times by half for U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspections, and cut airport operating costs.
International passengers get directed to the kiosks, scan their passports, take a photo, and then use the kiosk touchscreens to make their declarations, and then verify their passenger information.
The CBP then runs the information through its databases, and performs a risk assessment. The passengers get a receipt from the kiosks, and then proceed to an inspector for a brief interview to verify the information, assuming there are no security issues, the Vancouver Airport Authority says.
Passengers do not have to pre-register and the service is free for travelers.
Atlanta is the latest airport to get Vancouver’s kiosks. Vancouver (YVR), Montreal YUL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Chicago Midway (MDW), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), and JFK Terminals 1 and 4 already are using the BorderXpress kiosks.
Craig Richmond, CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, says the authority got into the kiosk business after looking for ways to smooth the passenger flow through the Vancouver airport. A team of 13 people in the authority’s Simplified Passenger Travel department developed the kiosks with help from the airport’s IT department, he said.
As a not-for profit, Vancouver Airport is privatized, doesn’t receive government funds, and created the kiosk business to take in revenue, supplementing its retail business, Richmond says.
Below is a Vancouver Airport Authority video on how its kiosks work: