Speaking on Thursday at the unveiling of Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s new Automated Passport Control capability, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, praised the Chicago Department of Aviation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for their collaboration in dramatically upgrading the security and efficiency of international passenger screening at O’Hare.
“U.S. Travel commends the Chicago Department of Aviation and CBP for upgrading the passenger experience at O’Hare’s international terminal and boosting security,” said Dow. “By streamlining the security and entry process, Chicago will increase efficiency for travelers and magnify its role as a premier international airport. These important steps will help bring the benefits of increased traveler spending to the greater Chicago region and beyond.”
O’Hare’s Automated Passport Control technology promises to dramatically reduce wait times for arriving international passengers. The program allows eligible U.S. citizens and legal residents to scan their passports and answer basic security questions at automatic kiosks in the international arrivals hall before speaking to a CBP officer.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international travelers added nearly $90 billion to the U.S. economy in the first six months of 2013. International travel to the United States is America’s No. 1 services export; America posted a travel trade surplus of $4.3 billion in June, the most recent month for which data is available.
“By efficiently welcoming more international travelers, O’Hare’s installment of Automated Passport Control technology will help provide jobs, economic opportunity and tax revenue to Chicago and the other cities it serves,” said Dow.