Canadians with a Nexus card will soon be able to use it to fly to the United States, allowing them to pass through security at airports faster, the federal government said Thursday.
Steven Fletcher, minister of state for transport, and other Conservative MPs and ministers held events at airports across the country to remind Canadians about the government's efforts to make air travel easier. They also highlighted changes to baggage screening for travellers to the United States.
BEYOND THE BORDERHighlights from the new Canada-U.S. deal
The Nexus program has been in place for several years and it expedites customs and immigration processing when crossing the Canada-United States border by air, land or sea. In 2010, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority launched a pilot program at three airports that allowed Nexus cardholders to access designated security screening lines.
The experiment only included domestic and international flights, not those to the United States. Once deemed successful, the special "trusted traveller" lines were set up in eight airports earlier this year.
"And now, thanks to this agreement Canadians travelling to the United States will also be able to use their Nexus cards to expedite screening at eight airports that have pre-screening checkpoints to the United Sates," Fletcher said. The screening lines are considered an additional benefit for Nexus members because they cut down on wait times at security lines.
"These changes will take effect just in time for spring break," he said.
The Nexus program is available at the airports in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
The existing benefits for Nexus members travelling by air to the United States involved using self-serve kiosks instead of standing in line to speak to a border or customs agent in the pre-clearance areas before moving on to the security screening areas. The kiosks have cameras that use iris recognition biometric technology. A touch screen on the machine is then used to answer standard questions.
It costs $50 to apply for membership in the program and a card is valid for five years. Applications must be approved by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If the eligibility requirements are met, a card will be issued within about six to eight weeks.
"I encourage you to apply now for the Nexus card and soon your passenger screening will be faster for both domestic and US travel," Fletcher said.
The government is hoping to have the expanded program complete by February 2012.
Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada or the United States and must have lived in the country for three consecutive years. People with a serious criminal record or who have violated immigration, customs or agriculture laws are not eligible.
What part of air travel causes you the most delay? Take our survey.
Speeding travel between the two countries was one of the key points made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama when they announced a "roadmap" for a new trade and security deal on Dec. 7.
In particular, the framework deal commits the two countries to ending the practice of re-screening baggage already cleared by security at Canadian airports when connecting flights are made in the United States.
Fletcher also highlighted that change Thursday, saying it will be phased in over the next three years.
"Once implemented it will make for a better travel experience, faster and more efficient for those who do business travel on a regular basis across the Canada-United States border," he said.
The border security agreement also promises greater harmonization of Canadian and U.S. security measures, rules to govern the sharing of information, upgrades to border infrastructure and the removal of some cross-border trade barriers.
Schipol print kiosk lets you print large banners in the airport (to hold up and greet).
Portable devices might have replaced paper tickets, but holding up your smartphone to welcome home a loved one just doesn't have the same emotional impact as a large banner that can now be printed on demand at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport.
The BannerXpress kiosk was recently installed inside the airport's arrivals area, allowing the friends and family of passengers to create and print 'welcome home' banners with custom fonts, graphics, messages and background images.
The kiosk accepts debit and credit cards and charges from around $5.30 for a small banner, to up to $20 for the largest option which are printed on a canvas material in just a couple of minutes. As for balloons and flowers, that's still something you'll have to remember before you get to the airport.
Great article on future of bag drop (airline automation). Schipol video is quite good.
By Ryan Ghee
As demand for self-service throughout the travel process continues to increase, innovative self-service bag drop and self-tagging solutions have been developed to further empower the passenger.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was one of the pioneers of the bag drop process, initially adopting it in 2008 and since then, following a successful trial period alongside KLM and BagDrop, self-service baggage drop off has been adopted on a permanent basis. In fact, on August 15, six of the latest-generation BagDrop units entered operation and by February 2012, a total of 12 new units will be installed in Terminal 2 for KLM and SkyTeam partners.
“The advantage of a self-service drop off unit is that it is always available,” explained Roel Hellemons, Director Operations, Schiphol Group. “This means that a larger capacity is available, resulting in higher efficiency for passengers, the airline and the airport. Furthermore, the passenger is in control of their own process and can check-in their baggage within a short process time, which meets the passenger’s needs.”
Ian Rasmussen, Director, BagDrop Systems, added: “The key performance indicator is the time taken for a passenger to drop a bag. This time continues to decline, from initially over 100 seconds, to now below 65 seconds on average, with frequent flyers as fast as 30 seconds. This covers the entire process, also printing and attaching the label.”
As with the adoption of any new system in an existing airport environment, questions regarding implementation costs and the need for infrastructural changes also arise. However, both Hellemons and Rasmussen explained that the need for upgrades to airport infrastructure is minimal, as the units can simply replace the conventional check-in desks.
“A business case approach has shown that the costs of a self-service drop-off machine will be compensated by the efficiency that can be made with the implementation,” Hellemons added.
Bag drop: Benefits vs Cost
While the benefits of self-service bag drop are clear, successful implementations to date have been exclusive to major airports. As well as the installation at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Air New Zealand has introduced the concept at the likes of Auckland and Christchurch airports, while Qantas has embraced baggage drop off via its Next Generation Check-In Program at major Australian airports. A six-month trial by BagDrop Systems at Zürich Airport is also nearing completion.
Although all of these airports handle significant passenger throughput in global terms, Rasmussen was keen to point out that the concept is also open to smaller airports. “Self-service bag drop has many benefits, among others, a very attractive business case. Another benefit is availability of check-in and drop off 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and also the option to provide drop off at parking places or other remote airport locations.
“All those benefits make it attractive for all airports and we are indeed in contact with multiple smaller airports who can also harvest great benefits from an installation.”
So, as baggage processing becomes increasingly automated, will the future process become an entirely automatic process, with no need for interaction from airport staff? The answer, according to Rasmussen, is ‘no’.
“There is always a need for a human element,” he said. “I believe it will be possible to have non-supervised units with a nearby support desk, but there will always be the need for some kind of support for a small percentage of passengers, and that should not be forgotten in a service industry.”
BEIJING, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Since being named the pilot carrier of IATA's "Easy Travel" project in 2009, Air China had made airport self check-in available to its passengers at Tokyo Narita Airport, Hong Kong Airport and Frankfurt Airport outside Mainland China.
On September 21, 2011, Air China added Tokyo Haneda Airport to the list. The user-friendly system, which features Chinese, English and Japanese, also supports transfer to other domestic Chinese cities via Beijing. It allows passengers to select their preferred seat, accrue Air China kilometers and print boarding pass, sparing them the trouble of having to queue in front of the traditional check-in counters.
Air China: Carrying China, Spanning the World
Air China is China's only national flag carrier and a Star Alliance member. In addition to commercial operations, it also provides special flight services for the country's state leaders on official visit to other countries.
By a fleet of 290 Airbus and Boeing aircraft (including 280 passenger airliners and 10 freighters), 1 training planes and 6business jets, we run 285routes -- 72 international, 14 regional, and 199 domestic -- serving a total of 140 cities, including 43 international, 4 regional and 93 domestic, in 30 countries and regions. We offer over 6,900 flights with over 1, 100,000 seats every week. Thanks to our admission to the Star Alliance, our route network, with Beijing as its hub, is able to place 1,160 destinations in 181 countries within our reach.
PhoenixMiles is our frequent flyer program that allows our loyal customers to accrue mileage and request awards in our worldwide system.
By our innovation and quality service, we have won numerous accolades of the industry. In December of 2010, Air China was honored one of the Top 500 brands by the World Brand Lab with brand value of RMB 478 billion, and the carrier has been ranked among the world's most respected companies for years on end. Also in the month, Air China was voted as one of the "top 60 Most Influential Brands of the Republic", and the award fully reflects Air China's outstanding contributions to the country's economic growth and the well-being communities in the past six decades.
For more information, please visit our website www.airchina.com.cn, or call our service hotline 4008-100-999 / member services hotline 4006-100-666.
SOURCE Air China
Kohls wants to put some kiosks in the Mitchell Airport. Would be on revenue share % of sales arrangement + the advertising branding value.
Kohl's Corp. is seeking a deal with Milwaukee County that would allow the retailer to put three kiosks in Mitchell International Airport.
The company recently rolled out the Internet kiosks in stores, allowing shoppers to order items online that they can't find in the store -- a color or size that's out of stock, for example. Shipping is free on items ordered via kiosk.
Kohl's would pay the county 11% of sales made at airport kiosks. The Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee will consider the request Wednesday.
Global Entry kiosks let passengers bypass long immigration and customs lines.
By JENALIA MORENO Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Dec. 1, 2010, 7:42PM
1 2 3
Nick de la Torre : Chronicle
Looking over at a friend who had to get in the queue, Lizzethe Escoto of Continental Airlines uses a Global Entry kiosk to enter the country last week at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
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The US Customs and Border Protection program Global Entry allows US travelers returning from overseas to bypass immigration and customs lines at U.S. airports. Details:
• Cost: $100
• Valid: 5 years
• Qualifications: No criminal convictions; no customs, immigration or agricultural violations; not under investigation by federal, state or local agencies
Source: US Customs and Border Protection
Camille and Dan Sullivan of New Orleans once missed a connecting flight home from Italy because of long immigration and customs lines at Washington's Dulles International Airport. After more than two hours waiting to hand their passports and travel documents to government agents, they ran through the airport but couldn't make it to their gate in time.
"We missed it by four minutes," Camille Sullivan said.
That convinced the couple, who enjoy international vacations, to spend $100 each on Global Entry memberships.
Approved members can bypass long immigration and customs lines, scan their own passports at airport kiosks and continue on their way in less than a minute.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply to the program if they have never been convicted of a criminal offense and pass a background check. Once approved, participants can bypass the immigration queue at any U.S. airport with Global Entry kiosks. The membership must be renewed every five years.
Mexican travelers will soon be able to participate in a pilot program version of Global Entry. If they pass a background check and provide their biometrics to the Department of Homeland Security, they too can skip the long immigration lines at U.S. airports. The program has already been extended to Dutch citizens, and about 2,000 have signed up for it. The Netherlands offers a similar service for U.S. travelers.
During a recent visit to Houston, the Sullivans signed up at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry enrollment office at Bush Intercontinental Airport. An agent interviewed and fingerprinted them, scanned their passports and marked the documents with a simple "CBP" sticker.
"This will be great if we can zip through," said Camille Sullivan, who is looking forward to touring France's wineries soon.
Houston figures highest
In June 2008, the Houston airport was one of the first to add Global Entry kiosks. Since then, the Houston office has approved more than 13,000 members, and almost 75,000 travelers have used the Houston kiosks — the nation's highest in both categories.
The program is popular in Houston with flight crews, energy workers, Medical Center employees and leisure travelers, among others.
The government promotes Global Entry by going to area companies and enrolling workers who travel internationally.
"We go to the company with a mobile enrollment unit and enroll all their members at one time," said Alma Montemayor, chief of operations of Customs and Border Protection.
There are 10 kiosks at Bush Intercontinental, and a few more will be added next month.
Hertz Europe announced it would roll out Self Service Express touch screen kiosks from NCR Corporation at select locations across nine countries in Europe for all customers (not just members-only) who have prepaid for their car rental.
Hertz says it has also launched a free reservations application for the iPhone in 18 languages for customers in Europe.
Similar to an airline check-in kiosk, the Self Service Express touch screen kiosk is a reservation-based system that collects the customer's personal information and identifies the customer's reservation, Hertz reported. It then completes the rental car pick-up process, sending the customer on his or her way. The solution allows Hertz customers to select and purchase upgrades, optional insurance and waiver products, fuel options, and add-ons such as child seats and the Hertz NeverLost in-car satellite navigation system.
The Self Service Express kiosks complement the Hertz Worldwide Online Check-in program, which allows customers to begin the check-in process from their home or office before they travel.
The Hertz iPhone application, which has already enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States, allows customers to make reservations, save their Hertz #1 Club member number, search and find nearby Hertz locations, save favorite locations and receive special promotions via their mobile devices.
The kiosks use a highly-reliable Common Use Self Service (CUSS) software platform that has been adopted by many airlines to enable customers to check in for their flights. NCR is also providing Hertz with comprehensive hardware support services, including remote management and helpdesk assistance on a global basis.
The Hertz Self Service Express kiosks are available at the following airports in Europe: Bergamo Orio al Serio; Milan Linate; Milan Malpensa; Rome Ciampino; Rome Fiumicino; Pisa (Italy); Edinburgh; London Heathrow; London Stansted; Prestwick (UK); Malaga (Spain); and Frankfurt Hahn (Germany). Further rollout plans are underway in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The company also plans to enable the kiosks to accept non-prepaid tariffs in early 2011.
In the "Looks Like an iPad" corner today we have....Management of the LF Wade International Airport announced today [July 22] the arrival of self-service kiosks uniquely designed to assist passengers who experience baggage delays. These new WorldTracer Kiosks are linked into the global tracing system for mishandled baggage and their deployment is part of a multi-million dollar overhaul of the airport’s range of passenger self-service technology by SITA, the leading IT specialist for airports.
LF Wade International is the first airport in the world to introduce the SITA WorldTracer Kiosk which allows passengers to scan their baggage claim tags and enter their contact details so they can remain fully informed until their bag is returned to them. Passengers rank check-in baggage arriving promptly and safely as one of the most important criteria associated with a pleasant journey after: no delays, friendly ground staff and short queues. Last year over 25 million bags were mishandled worldwide.
Aaron Adderley, General Manager, LF Wade International Airport, said, “The WorldTracer Kiosk is an innovative element in this major technology upgrade. SITA is also introducing more common-use self-service kiosks for passenger check-in, and upgrading our flight information displays and airport operational database. This project will completely overhaul the passenger-facing technology for the entire airport and will also incorporate on-site maintenance and support by local company, BAS-Serco, supporting employment in Bermuda.”
With the smallest physical footprint in the industry, the slim WorldTracer Kiosk is offered with a fully-managed service package. It includes a bar code reader for baggage tag entry, and the option for wireless connectivity, giving the airport an opportunity to move the kiosk as needed.
Sandra Girona, SITA Regional Vice President, North America, said, “SITA is very pleased to announce LF Wade International Airport as a new customer. The airport will be transformed into a showcase for how the industry can reap major benefits from the innovative use of IT for passenger self-service in a way that is attractive to both airlines and passengers. The timing is also very good as Bermuda will host the Airports Council International World Conference in November this year.”
SITA operates WorldTracer, the industry-standard, fully-automated system for tracing lost and mishandled passenger baggage used by more than 450 airlines and ground-handling companies worldwide.
LF Wade International Airport will deploy SITA’s new AirportConnect S3 Kiosk for the first time, subject to regulatory issues and airline compliance related to the self-tagging application. This full-function check-in kiosk, which has the smallest carbon footprint in the industry, is another industry-leading, environmentally-friendly self-service solution from SITA.
It is highly energy-efficient and only needs half the floor space of a conventional model. The S3 kiosk also incorporates a printer that can issue up to 5,300 boarding passes from a single roll and is fitted with passport and document scanners.
Self-service check-in is increasingly popular among passengers in North America and Europe, and worldwide 25% of passengers currently use kiosks to check in.
Unimark’s successful introduction of the MC1000 at the recent Passenger Terminal Expo in
Brussels offers a cost effective solution to check-in challenges.
Lenexa, Kan.—Unimark Products today released the MC1000, a new innovation in serving
airport customers in a convenient and efficient manner. With the ability to configure the
battery powered and portable computer workspace for a variety of airport applications,
airlines can now bring the ticketing, re-ticketing or boarding process to the location they
need it most, where you need it, when you need it.
Eliminate or reduce the costly labor driven expense of building counters and infrastructure.
“There is a reason hospitals have migrated to mobile carts for expensive medical devices.
The same can hold true for airport applications. We see this as a way to reduce the
unnecessary build up of infrequently used gate and counter computer hardware and
peripherals,” said Jim Larson, Unimark President and CEO. “Because of Unimark’s ability
to modify and adapt the MC1000, the airport or airline customer can be assured a solution
that best meets their needs.”
The ergonomic MC1000 easily adjusts to each agent’s height and comfort, and provides
convenient access to printed bag tags, boarding passes or other required documents. The
locking ticket bin provides secure storage of controlled documents. With two rechargeable
batteries, the MC1000 is ready for hours of continued performance.
About Unimark Products:
Unimark Products, LLC is a privately held leading maker of
specialty-use thermal printers and boarding gate readers employed throughout the world.
We deliver innovative business management solutions to the airport, airline and travel
industries. In addition, Unimark offers labels, tags, tickets and other consumables. For more
information, please visit www.unimark.com.
NCR and InMotion announce machines selling video and music at 35 airports. Units to be deployed by Fall 2010.
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--NCR Corp. (NCR) will roll out digital download kiosks at InMotion Entertainment stores beginning next month, further expanding its footprint in the self-serve entertainment market.
NCR, which operates DVD-rental kiosks under the Blockbuster Express brand, will rent and sell videos and music at 57 airport-based InMotion Entertainment locations in 35 airports nationwide. The installation is expected to be completed this fall.
The company said consumers can download the content to memory cards and USB memory sticks in under two minutes, playing the content on computers and other devices with Windows operating systems. Additional devices will be supported for use later this year.
"We have big expectations for the potential of digital entertainment kiosks, and we look forward to expanding this program with NCR," NCR Entertainment vice president and general manager Alex Camara said in a statement.
NCR will test prices for the downloads but said rentals and purchases will be consistent with online digital downloads and in-store rentals. Consumers will have 30 days from the time of download to begin watching the movie after they rent it and, once they press play, can start and stop as much as they want over 48 hours.
The kiosks will offer "thousands" of new release and catalog titles and "hundreds of thousands" of MP3 music tracks, NCR said.
Digital downloads seem a natural step for NCR, as the company last week announced it was considering selling DVDs from its standard kiosks and may start charging more for new-release titles. The company faces tough competition from Coinstar Inc.'s (CSTR) Redbox Automated Retail, as well as from mail service Netflix Inc. (NFLX).
NCR's shares recently traded almost 1% higher at $15.12.
-By Melissa Korn, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2271; firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department wants to expand speedy screening of preapproved, low-risk air travelers arriving in the United States to most international airports in the country. CBS News report also noted that it is in 7 airports but will expand to all international airports soon. Also that process time reduced from 10 minutes to 3 minutes.
For more than a year, the department has been testing this program at seven airports across the country and found that participating travelers cut their average waiting time to be screened from 10 minutes to three.
The voluntary program, called Global Entry, would be open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents at least 14 years old. They would have to pay a $100 fee and undergo a background check. If accepted into the program, they can go through expedited screening when they fly into the United States. Ultimately, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a homeland security agency, plans to expand the program to include foreign travelers whose countries have an acceptable prescreening process. For instance, people from the Netherlands who are part of that country's Privium program have been accepted into the pilot program.
The program will begin at seven airports testing the pilot program and expand to most major international airports. The seven are New York's Kennedy, Houston's George Bush, Washington's Dulles, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson, Chicago's O'Hare, Los Angeles International and Miami International.
The program allows registered participants to use a self-service kiosk to report their arrival, scan their passport or permanent residency card, submit their fingerprints for biometric verification and make a declaration at the touch-screen kiosk. The kiosk then takes a digital photograph of the traveler as part of the transaction record, issues a receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. Global Entry participants may still be selected randomly by customs officers for additional screening at any time in the process.
The Homeland Security Department published the proposed rule in Thursday's Federal Register. The public has until Jan. 19 to comment on the proposal.
On Thursday, the Bay Area's largest airport unveiled three Climate Passport kiosks with touch screens that determine how many pounds of carbon dioxide a trip will produce, calculate the sum an environmentally conscious traveler should contribute to projects in San Francisco and California that help reduce greenhouse gases, then allow fliers to purchase certified carbon offsets. Judging from the reaction of the first two travelers to take a test spin of the touch screens, it's not clear whether the program will fly. [picture included]
a href=http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2009/09/18/mn-carbon18_ph1_0500607846.jpg>Image of unit
New kiosks at SFO first to sell carbon offsets
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, September 18, 2009
(09-17) 18:22 PDT -- Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport can be the first in the nation to wipe away some of the damage their flights wreak on the planet by swiping their credit cards.
On Thursday, the Bay Area's largest airport unveiled three Climate Passport kiosks with touch screens that determine how many pounds of carbon dioxide a trip will produce, calculate the sum an environmentally conscious traveler should contribute to projects in San Francisco and California that help reduce greenhouse gases, then allow fliers to purchase certified carbon offsets.
"We realize people are going to fly," said Steve McDougal, executive vice president of 3Degrees, a San Francisco company that helped SFO develop the program. "This gives them something they can do to reduce their impact. This is just one of many small things people need to do."
The kiosks are located near the entrances to Terminal 3 and international terminals A and G - behind security checkpoints and perched in front of large signs reading, "Keep our skies blue. Purchase your air travel carbon offset here."
Setting up the Climate Passport program cost $190,000 in airport funds, said Kandace Bender, deputy airport director.
Judging from the reaction of the first two travelers to take a test spin of the touch screens, it's not clear whether the program will fly.
Soon after a press conference to unveil the kiosk in Terminal 3 concluded, Shane Johnson, 39, a traveling salesman from Vancouver, B.C., strolled up to take a look.
"What is it?" he asked.
Johnson punched in his starting airport and his destination - Vancouver to SFO and back - entered the number of passengers in his party - one - and hit the "add flight" button and the "calculate my flights" button.
His round trip would produce 1,186 pounds of carbon dioxide, which could be offset with a contribution of $7.26, the computer said. Johnson chose not to tap the "purchase now" button and slide his credit card into the kiosk.
"I don't live here, so I prefer to make my donations at home," he said.
A few minutes later, Bostonian Ari Peskoe, catching a flight home after a job interview, stopped by the machine and became the first person to purchase a carbon offset at SFO.
"My flight was free, so I thought buying some greenhouse gas reduction was the least I could do," he said.
His one-way trip home, the computer concluded, would produce 1,999 pounds of carbon dioxide, which could be offset for $12.24.
Despite his purchase, Peskoe said he's a bit skeptical about the concept of carbon offsets. Some critics question whether some of the programs that receive money are effective in reducing carbon dioxide.
McDougal said he understands such doubts, but that the projects funded by SFO fliers have been approved by an independent third party.
Climate Passport contributions fund the Garcia River Forest, a reforestation project in Mendocino County where redwood and Douglas fir trees are being added to a forest that had been heavily logged. They also go to the SFCarbon Fund, which is steering the money to Dogpatch Biofuels, a bio-diesel fueling station in southeastern San Francisco.
E-mail Michael Cabanatuan at email@example.com.
This article appeared on page A - 118 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Nice picture of unit by KIOSK as deployed in McCarran Airport by Department of Homeland Security.
By Richard N. Velotta (contact)
Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Travelers registered with the government can use these scanners for quicker entry to the United States at 20 airports.
Airports that now have Global Entry kiosks
Boston-Logan International Airport
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Honolulu International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
Los Angeles International Airport
McCarran International Airport
Miami International Airport
Newark (N.J.) Liberty International Airport
Orlando International Airport
Orlando-Sanford International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Juan-Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (Puerto Rico)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Washington-Dulles International Airport
More stories about business ant the economy
Beyond the Sun
McCarran International Airport
You’ve seen them in “Mission: Impossible” and the James Bond movies, those facial-feature scanners and fingerprint pads that give people access to high-tech secret stuff.
Now, McCarran International Airport has such a gadget for people to get into the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has installed scanning devices at McCarran’s Terminal 2 as part of a pilot program to expedite low-risk travelers through customs if they’ve been preapproved by the government.
Travelers must first register for the program, be photographed and have their fingerprints scanned, in order to be added to Customs’ database. Then, when they travel, they can walk up to the Customs’ kiosk at the airport, be scanned to confirm their identities through facial recognition technology and fingerprints, and get a pass that allows them through customs. Some travelers will still be selected randomly to be cleared by a customs officer.
The system, called Global Entry, is part of a program overseen by the Homeland Security Department.
Global Entry has been around since last summer at seven major international gateways — Atlanta, Chicago’s O’Hare, Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles, New York’s John F. Kennedy, Miami and Washington-Dulles international airports.
The kiosks went live Monday at McCarran as part of the second wave of installations at 13 airports.
Travelers who want to use Global Entry must first register with the government, said Cristina Gamez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Los Angeles.
“It’s for legal permanent residents of the United States, low-risk travelers with no criminal history and no violations” of customs regulations, she said.
Once the application is completed, the traveler will be given an appointment at the airport for a personal interview to complete the application process. That’s when photos are taken and fingerprints are scanned.
And that’s when you have to pay for the privilege of using the system — it’s $100, but it’s good for five years.
With the traveler’s biometrics stored in a database, a Global Entry kiosk can be used upon entry into the United States at any of the 20 participating airports.
Travelers using the kiosk present their machine-readable U.S. passports and have their faces and fingers scanned. Questions about destinations and declared items are prompted on a computer screen.
People who have used the kiosks say the process takes a little over 30 seconds to complete.
Once the scans are complete and the questions answered, the kiosk prints a receipt directing travelers to baggage claim and the exit, unless they are selected to go to a customs officer.
The U.S. Travel Association, which has pushed for a simplified customs process for years, says Global Entry and streamlining through biometric screening should improve the entry process while maintaining a high level of security.
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the association and a frequent speaker at tourism conferences, has said that in addition to providing technological innovations, the United States must do a better job of explaining security policies and providing a more welcoming message to international travelers to keep pace with other countries that are more inviting to travelers.
The association also is encouraging the government to help other countries participate in the program.
Travelers wanting to enroll must submit information in an online application at https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/.
As of Wednesday, about 18,000 people had enrolled and 57,000 entries into the United States using the system had been documented.
From January through July, 671,689 passengers arrived in Las Vegas on international flights. Nonstop flights routinely arrive from London; Seoul, South Korea; Frankfurt, Germany; and several cities in Canada and Mexico. A new daily nonstop flight from London by British Airways is planned this year.
Nice picture and writeup on Global Entry kiosks in Orlando. KIOSK in Colorado designed/manufactures these units. These types of complex customer-flow with id/authentication are going to multiply in the years ahead (along with implantable RFid chips which we read about yesterday :-)
Orlando International Airport unveiled a new system Wednesday designed to speed the re-entry of preapproved, low-risk travelers to the United States.
The Global Entry Program allows U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and legal permanent residents to bypass the usual customs interviews by using an automated kiosk to scan their passport and make customs declarations.
The government program, which is voluntary, is expected to trim wait times in customs at OIA, which handled 1.3 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 16.8 percent from the year before.
The program, which started in June 2008 as a pilot project at three airports, is now in use at 20, including OIA and Orlando Sanford International Airport. The kiosks take about three minutes to scan a passport, collect flight information and scan the person's fingerprints. Each traveler gets a receipt that allows the person to exit customs after retrieving his or her luggage, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which runs the program.
"CBP wants to make the entry process more streamlined, user-friendly and understandable," said Eddie Oliveros, the agency's area port director.
Airport officials said that getting low-risk U.S. travelers out of the interview lines in customs will help speed things up for foreign visitors as well.
"Not only does it help the traveler, but it helps the process," said Carolyn Fennell, an OIA spokeswoman.
Currently, about 80 percent of the international passengers make it through OIA's customs process within a half hour, according to the agency. But it can take longer at other airports.
"If you're a frequent traveler and you don't want to wait in line in Miami or JFK, you can use the kiosk," Oliveros said.
About 16,000 people have already applied for and been enrolled in the program, and the system has been used 51,000 times at the various airports combined. In addition to U.S. citizens and residents, customs has the ability to screen Dutch travelers using the automated system and said it may reach agreements with other countries in the future.
The application fee for the program is $100, which is good for a five-year enrollment, and each applicant has to go through a two-step screening process.
The online application, at www.globalentry.gov, requires biographical information, work history, a valid address, document information and a payment. Applicants then have to attend an in-person interview with the customs agency to confirm their identity and immigration status, submit fingerprints and verify travel documents.
Sara K. Clarke can be reached at 407-420-5664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The international registered traveler program Global Entry by DHS is going strong with new deployments this month in 13 airports. In contrast to the domestic program (Clear) that shutdown when private operator Verified Identity Pass declared bankruptcy.
HS expands global trusted traveler program
Global Entry to open at 13 more airports on Aug. 24
By Alice Lipowicz
Aug 13, 2009
The Homeland Security Department’s international registered traveler program is going strong. The program is expanding from seven airports to 20 airports starting Aug. 24, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced.
DHS started the Global Entry international trusted traveler program in June 2008 as a pilot project at three airports. It grew to seven airports last fall.
U.S. citizens and others who want to enroll in Global Entry must submit to a security check and interview and provide a fingerprint. Once enrolled, upon returning to the United States, they can use a kiosk to process their passports and scan their fingerprints. This typically results in less waiting than a manual check by U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees, DHS said.
To date, approximately 16,000 members have enrolled in Global Entry at the seven existing locations and in April, DHS signed an agreement for reciprocal treatment with airports in the Netherlands.
This month, the department will add 13 more airports to the program, Napolitano said in a news release Aug. 12.
"Expanding this vital program allows us to improve customer service at airports and concentrate our resources on higher-risk travelers,” Napolitano said.
The kiosks will open at airports in Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Newark, N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; Sanford, Fla.; Philadelphia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco and Seattle.
Meanwhile, DHS’ domestic trusted traveler program, Registered Traveler, which has been operating as a public-private partnership since 2005, has been faltering since its largest private vendor abruptly shut down operations in June.
The ATM-like machines are estimated to cut the average traveler's wait time by 70 percent -- to between three and five minutes -- with more seasoned users passing through in as little as 90 seconds. The Global Entry kiosks do away with the need for filling out customs declaration forms by asking a series of 10 questions.
It's like having E-ZPass for the airport
by Leslie Kwoh/The Star-Ledger
Monday August 24, 2009, 6:00 AM
MITSU YASUKAWA/THE STAR-LEDGER
Close up of the automated kiosk at Newark Liberty International Airport. The device can process a passenger in three to five minutes, cutting the average processing time by 70 percent.
For $100 and a fingerprinting session, frequent international travelers can now shave a few minutes off their wait time after landing at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Starting today, pre-approved U.S. citizens and permanent residents re-entering the country can skip passport-checking lines and pass through an automated kiosk instead.
"For frequent business travelers, it's a great program," said John Saleh, a spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in New York. "They come off the plane with their carry-on, they go up to the kiosk, and they're out the door within a couple minutes."
The four Global Entry kiosks, which cost $25,000 each, do away with the need for filling out customs declaration forms by asking a series of 10 questions, he said. The ATM-like machines are estimated to cut the average traveler's wait time by 70 percent -- to between three and five minutes -- with more seasoned users passing through in as little as 90 seconds.
In addition to Newark, the kiosks are also being unveiled today in 12 other international U.S. airports in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco and Seattle.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched the pilot program in June at seven of the nation's busiest airports, including Los Angeles International and John F. Kennedy International. About 16,000 travelers have since enrolled, together using the kiosks more than 51,000 times, according to CBP.
Travelers who wish to enroll can fill out an application form online, then visit the airport or a local processing center for fingerprinting, an interview and background check. Only "low-risk" travelers will be accepted into the program, and any criminal convictions may be grounds for rejection, Saleh said.
The $100 fee is good for five years and grants access to any of the kiosks at the 20 locations across the country. Travelers can also use kiosks at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, for an additional annual fee of 109 euros, or about $155.
For more information, or to apply for the program, visit globalentry.gov.
Article on the closing of Clear program and what may have gone wrong with it. Better integration with TSA so that the travelers really did get to skip the lines.
by Caroline Cooper, * • 24 Jul 2009
"Clear lanes are no longer available."
That's the message that confronts former members of the Clear registered traveler program upon their visits to its Web site, following the sudden news last month that the company was ceasing operations.
Clear began at the Orlando International Airport in 2005 and served 250,000 people in 18 U.S. airports at the time it shut down. The outfit claims on its Web site that its parent company, Verified Identity Pass, was "unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations."
A business losing funding certainly isn't unheard of in this challenging economy, but many former Clear customers and air travel industry experts are troubled by the manner in which the company handled its demise, as well as the factors that may have led, at least in part, to the closure.
Since Clear and Verified Identity Pass have shut down their Web sites and office — phone calls to a listed number were met by a voicemail and not returned — few people know for certain what went wrong. But there are still some important lessons self-service deployers can take from the Clear situation.
A self-service program must deliver on the promises it makes.
The Clear program was supposed to make life easier for frequent travelers. Members would simply swipe their Clear card at the program's airport kiosk, which would then read their biometric data (fingerprint and iris scans) and submit approval for the attending Clear agent to take them through a special, expedited security line. But the company never was able to properly implement that model.
"The death of Clear has little to do with its kiosks and everything to do with everything else," said airline industry speaker and strategist Steven Frischling.
According to Frischling, the kiosk component of the process worked fine. But Clear's original model was such that registered members would not have to go through many of the usual airport security hassles, such as removing computers from carry-ons and taking off their shoes.
"The technology that they chose did not meet any of the TSA requirements, meaning that Clear travelers that got to the security checkpoint still needed to take their laptop out, still needed to remove their shoes, because you couldn't integrate Clear into a TSA line," he said. "So if you had a Clear traveler who purchased Clear to save time, fine, they're skipping the line, but they're still going through the same hassles as every other traveler."
Frischling says participating airports would have needed a separate, TSA-compliant security line just for Clear passengers, and the organization and airports simply didn't have the manpower to accommodate that requirement.
"They kept saying you could walk up there and leave your shoes on and leave your laptop in and not be hassled because you've already been pre-cleared — well, the TSA never signed up for that," he said. "They did not meet the vast majority of the promises that were made to Clear members."
Proceed with caution in uncharted territory.
Though Clear may have been a pioneer in the registered traveler arena, it seems to have been ill-prepared for some of the challenges of operating in the airport security business.
In July 2008, a laptop belonging to a Clear employee was stolen from what was thought to be a secured room at the San Francisco International Airport. The computer was unencrypted, which contravenes TSA regulations for registered traveler programs, and stored on it were credit card numbers, passport numbers and biometric data belonging to more than 30,000 Clear members.
The company claimed the laptop was protected by dual passwords and that the data wasn't compromised, but the incident still worried many in the industry and prompted a TSA order for Clear to suspend the enrollment of new customers until an independent audit of its systems could be completed.
"They kept saying it wasn't compromised, but nobody knew that," Frischling said. "Dual passwords, from what I understand from a number of security experts, are fairly easy to get past. If you're an experienced hacker looking for credit card and passport information, chances are you know how to do that."
Because registered traveler programs are not mainstream yet, all the issues that go along with storing the biometric data of frequent fliers have not been explored thoroughly. And since the TSA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are not affiliated with private registered traveler programs, ensuring the security of that data is up to the companies themselves.
"They say they are going to wipe the hard drives and meet all the TSA requirements and the DHS requirements," he said. "But if you contact the TSA and the DHS, there are no requirements for how this stuff is supposed to be dealt with."
Verified Identity Pass is unable to strike deal with creditors and so the Clear program ceases operation and the machines are removed June 22. As late as Fathers Day they were still signing up subscribers according to Denver news.
So much for zipping through airport security for people willing to pay $199 per year and have their fingerprints and iris images scanned to be pre-approved.
Clear, the largest company to leverage the Registered Traveler program in the U.S., has “ceased operation” as of 11 pm PST today and their parent company, Verified Identity Pass, Inc., is in the deadpool. They were “unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor to continue operations.” Users were notified this evening by email.
The service was popular - it was used 250,000 times at Washington, DC airports alone. Overall, the company said, over 2.5 million people were processed using Clear. It operated security lanes at 20 U.S. airports: Albany, Atlanta, Boston’s Logan, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, LaGuardia, Little Rock, New York JFK, Newark, Oakland, Orlando, Reno, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington, D.C.’s Reagan and Dulles, and Westchester.
|Dubai - The next time you apply for an immigration-related transaction in Dubai, you may head to the nearest mall. This is made possible by a self-service and mobile visa (m-visa) machines unveiled by the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) at Burjuman Centre, a popular mall, on Thursday.|
The unit is the first of seven self-service visa processing units the DNRD plans to install in popular malls across Dubai to make them more accessible to residents and businesses.
Speaking at the launch, Maj. Gen. Mahommad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of DNRD, said: “The self service kiosk is of particular use to people who work long hours. Now they do not need to take leave of absence to complete their residence/visa-related paperwork requirements. They can do it at their leisure while shopping or spending time with their families at Burjuman center.
He said these kiosks are part of a bigger plan of the DNRD to simplify the procedures and to use the latest data management technology to offer quality services.
“They will be strategically placed across town to offer customers in various Dubai areas the convenience of DNRD services 24/7.”
Lt. Col. Khaled Nasser Al Razooqi, Assistant Director General in Charge of Information Technology at DNRD, said: “We’re hoping to put the same system in several malls across in Dubai.
The system is designed to simply procedures ... and it’s actually cheaper. A regular visa printed at DNRD costs Dh70, including typing service. M-visa costs just Dh20,” said Al Razooqi.
The M-Visa service will shorten the passport control entry process and will save vistors’ time.
When applying for an entry permit -- either through DNRD offices or using online applications at www.ednrd.ae or www.eform.ae -- customers will be requested to make the necessary payments to give them access to the M-visa facilities.
The M-Visa machine at Burjuman allows Dubai residents to receive entry visa permits in the form of a bar code transmitted by SMS or email.
“A visitor can simply walk from the aircraft to the passport control counter, show the barcode sent to his mobile phone together with his passport,” Al Razooqi explained, adding that the system can work with any type of phone or mobile personal digital assistant (PDA) device.
Upon arrival at any of the UAE entry points through Dubai, the barcode scanner set up at the DNRD checkpoints will read the details of the entry permit directly off the mobile devices (PDAs or simple mobile phones of the visitors.
An immigration officer simply scans the barcode on the visitor’s mobile phone. After checking the identity of the visitor against the information on the passport, the original visa will be printed immediately.
From the self-service kiosks, Dubai residents can also check the status of their visa, print out their resident/visit visa and visa extension.
UAE nationals can also apply for passport renewals.
Second Lt. Aamer Rashid Al Mehairi, Head of Programme Quality Assurance at DNRD, explained that the kiosk works like an ATM machine with a touch-screen. Payments for four transactions available through the kiosk can be made with cash or credit card.
“This can be used by both individuals or corporates.”
With a push of the question mark button, it also automatically links customers to a 24-7 “Aamer Service” call centre manned by DNRD staff.
HOW TO APPLY FOR MOBILE VISA
1. Log in to www.eform.ae
2. In the online form for M-Visa, fill up the name, mobile number and email of sponsor
3. Type name and mobile number of visitor coming from outside UAE
4. Once approved by DNRD staff at the other end, both sponsor and visitor will receive SMS message on their mobile phones with a barcode
5. Upon arrival at any port of entry in Dubai, visitor can show barcode sent to their mobile phone for scanning by a special machine.
6. A visa printout can also be requested for a Dh20 fee
SERVICES AVAILABLE ON SELF SERVICE KIOSK (AMER SERVICE)
1. Check status of residence/visit visa
2. Printout resident/visit visa
3. Check residence or visit visa overstay/validity (Sponsors can check status of all persons under their sponsorship)
4. Print out visit visa extension forms
5. Request for passport renewal (for UAE nationals only)
DNRD toll-free number: 8005111
By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY -- WASHINGTON — For the first time, U.S. travelers flying overseas may avoid customs lines at a foreign airport by swiping a digital ID card.
An agreement Thursday between the Homeland Security Department and the Netherlands allows approved U.S. citizens to speed through customs checks at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
Dutch citizens clearing a Homeland Security background check can do the same arriving at some U.S. airports, including New York's John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International.
The ID cards are embedded with an image of the traveler's eye that is used to verify his identity.
Industry groups say the program will encourage travel to the USA by reducing the hassles of clearing customs.
"This is a big breakthrough. It really opens the door for much more," said Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, which promotes foreign travel to the United States.
U.S. officials are in talks to begin programs with the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, said John Wagner, who runs the program for Homeland Security.
About 4.5 million U.K. visitors came to the U.S. last year, ranking third behind Canada and Mexico, government figures show. The Netherlands ranked 13th, with 600,000 visitors to the U.S.
"We fully intend to make this a global network," Wagner said.
U.S. citizens must enroll in the Amsterdam airport's trusted-traveler program, which costs $143 a year and requires a background check by Dutch authorities.
Participants get a card containing a digital image of their iris. When arriving from overseas, they will swipe the card at an airport kiosk. They then press their eye against a kiosk camera, which checks that the camera image matches the image on the card.
Dutch citizens must enroll in the U.S. "Global Entry" program, which resembles the Amsterdam program but uses fingerprints to verify identity. Enrollment costs $100 for five years. Kiosks are installed in seven major U.S. airports, with plans to add them in 13 more this year.
National Business Travel Association consultant Stewart Verdery said expansion is essential and overdue. "This sends a good diplomatic message," Verdery said. He said background checks make the program secure.
New tourism kiosks in O'Hare featuring the TouchSmart AIOs from HP. Also incorporate content from pretty wild technology from Gigapan. One of the links is 1400 pixel zoomable (is such a word?) image of the Obama inauguration. Yo Yo Ma is taking a picture on mobile phone.
CHICAGO OFFICE OF TOURISM AND DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION ANNOUNCE NEW “EXPLORE CHICAGO” INSTALLATION IN O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The City of Chicago’s new tourism website, www.explorechicago.org, will be the centerpiece of a new installation in O’Hare Airport beginning in late winter 2009.
The installation was made possible through a partnership with technology sponsor HP, with additional support from NASA and GigaPan, developers of a new technology for high-resolution imaging. It will feature the HP TouchSmart PC offering Chicagoans and visitors the opportunity to experience www.explorechicago.org as they wait for flights. The HP TouchSmart PC is a touch-enabled, all-in-one PC that makes using a computer a compelling, hands-on experience.
The installation will include 30 HP TouchSmart PCs located throughout the airport terminals. Additional computers will be found in two technology lounges in Terminal 2. Each lounge will also feature comfortable seating, as well as large-scale, 30’x10’ GigaPan ultra high-resolution images showcasing iconic Chicago locations, including the skyline, Millennium Park, and the CME Group Financial Trading Floor. GigaPan is a revolutionary technology that allows anyone to capture extremely high-resolution panoramic images using any standard digital camera. Three HP TouchSmart PCs in the lounge will allow visitors to explore Chicago virtually by viewing the GigaPan panoramas in detail on www.gigapan.org. Two computers will be available to explore NASA’s website at www.nasa.gov/city.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with leaders in the technology industry like HP, NASA, and GigaPan to showcase the city’s many impressive cultural assets to millions of airport visitors,” said Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg. “The innovative HP TouchSmart PCs will provide an excellent way for travelers to view Chicago’s new tourism website, www.explorechicago.org.”
O'Hare hosts over 76 million travelers annually. “This exhibit is a fantastic way to showcase our city to O’Hare’s connecting passengers as well as those who call Chicago home,” said Aviation Commissioner Richard L. Rodriguez. "Visitors from around the world will now be able to explore Chicago as they travel through our airport.”
“The HP TouchSmart PC is creating a paradigm shift in how people use computers,” said Fred Bullock, vice president, Marketing, Personal Solutions Group – Americas, HP. “Whether people are tech-savvy or not, access to videos, photos, music and information is just a touch away. With our systems at O’Hare Airport, visitors can simply touch a finger to the intuitive interface and access information in fun and engaging ways, without ever having to use a keyboard or a mouse.”
Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures, reserve hotel accommodations and receive trip-planning assistance by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246), or visiting www.explorechicago.org. Brochures and information on Chicago’s exciting events and activities are also available at information booths at O’Hare and Midway International Airports and the City’s Visitor Information Centers. The centers are located at Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.
About the Chicago Office of Tourism
The Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the official City agency dedicated to promoting Chicago to domestic and international visitors and to providing innovative visitor programs and services.
About the Chicago Airport System
The Chicago Airport System is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at O’Hare and Midway International airports. Together, Chicago’s airports generate more than $45 billion in annual economic activity and create 540,000 jobs for the region. Please visit www.flychicago.com to learn more about the Chicago Airport System.
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
Karen Ryan Vaughan,
Example of Gigapan -- inaugural address by Obama