A US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facility has opened at Abu Dhabi International airport, despite opposition from airlines in the USA.
The facility will allow passengers to clear US customs and immigration in Abu Dhabi and arrive as a domestic passenger at airports in the USA. It is understood that the facility is designed to stop various items, including food and plants, from Africa and India from reaching US soil.
The industry organisation Airlines for America, numerous airlines and pilots unions oppose the facility, citing the fact that no US carrier flies to the airport.
Only Etihad Airways flies between Abu Dhabi and the USA. The airline has nonstop flights to Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK and Washington Dulles, with new service planned to Los Angeles from June and Dallas/Fort Worth from December.
US Customs and Border Protection was not immediately available for comment.