September 25, 2014
City News Service
Some arriving international passengers should have a faster trip through Los Angeles International Airport thanks to dozens of automated kiosks unveiled September 24 in an effort to speed up the entry process.
“These kiosks will allow passengers to avoid long lines and reduce wait times at Customs, so they can be out the door faster and on their way to exploring the greatest city in the world,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This important improvement to the passenger experience is all part of our work to overhaul nearly every terminal and bring rail to LAX, because Los Angeles deserves a world-class airport.”
The 40 Automated Passport Control kiosks at the Tom Bradley International Terminal allow international travelers to submit biographical information and customs declarations electronically, meaning less time spent talking to a Customs and Border Protection Officer. The machines can be used by U.S. and Canadian citizens, and travelers from the 38 Visa Waiver Countries, as long as the travelers are registered through CBP’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization program, according to airport officials.
Travelers using the machines will still be interviewed by a CBP officer, but the electronic pre-screening is expected to expedite the process. Airport officials said the system has resulted in an average wait-time reduction of 39 percent for returning U.S. citizens. Eligible foreign passport holders have seen an 18 percent reduction, officials said.
The terminals cost $36,000 each. A consortium of 39 airlines operating in the Tom Bradley terminal is paying the roughly $1.6 million tab for personnel to direct and assist travelers with questions about the machines. The terminals will also be installed at Terminal 2, which is a secondary international terminal. Similar machines were installed in Terminal 5 by Delta Air Lines.