Chicago’s airports are reaping the rewards from pioneering automatic immigration technology in the USA, which has significantly shortened the processing time for arriving international passengers.

The automated passport control (APC) technology was introduced in June in a $2.2 million programme which saw the installation of 32 self-service kiosks at Chicago O’Hare’s international terminal. The technology is also deployed at Chicago Midway airport.

“On bad days, we would have two-hour wait times [at O’Hare]. Now we’re hard pressed to break the hour, and the majority of passengers process in 15min or less,” says Brian Bell of US Customs and Border Protection. “What used to be 45min for a US citizen to return is now averaging 12-13min.”

Chicago aviation department commissioner Rosemarie Andolino says there are plans to widen the adoption of the technology: “We’re adding 30 more APC kiosks at O’Hare, and planning to be part of a pilot programme to test mobile technology which will allow passengers to use their smartphones on the plane to do the data entry."

Source: Flight Daily News