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DHS Selects 11 New Foreign Airports for Possible Preclearance Expansion

airport-towerThe Department of Homeland Security has selected 11 new foreign airports located in nine countries for the department’s possible preclearance expansion effort.

DHS said Friday U.S.-bound travelers will go through the immigration, customs and agriculture inspection processes conducted by the Customs and Border Protection prior to boarding aircraft instead of upon arrival once the preclearance operations are expanded in the selected airports.

The goal is to help prevent high-risk individuals from boarding aircraft bound for the U.S. and minimize wait times at domestic gateways.

“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 DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The 11 airports selected for possible preclearance locations are:

  • El Dorado International Airport in Colombia
  • Ministro Pistarini International Airport Argentina
  • Edinburgh Airport in the U.K.
  • Keflavik International Airport in Iceland
  • Mexico City International Airport in Mexico
  • Milan-Malpensa Airport in Italy
  • Kansai International Airport in Japan
  • Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport in Brazil
  • Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Italy
  • São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil
  • Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten

DHS gathered letters of interest from foreign airports in May as part of the process for the second open season and CBP picked the airports in collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration and the State Department.

“CBP precleared more travelers than ever before last year, 18 million, accounting for about 15.3 percent of all commercial air travel to the United States,” said CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske.

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