Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Salt Lake International Airport Using Technology to Expedite Customs Process

International travel at the Salt Lake Airport just got a little bit easier.

“She puts her passport in and you scan your passport,” explains Frank Falcon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

He's at one of the four new automated passport control kiosks recently installed at the international arrival area at the Salt Lake City International Airport. The kiosks allow arriving passengers to quickly enter their passport information and answer the customs questions, typically found on the little blue card, in a little more than one minute.

“Once you’ve answered the questions you submit your application and you just wait for the printout," Falcon says. "It’s a big time saver for us. It cuts down the wait times, particularly if you have big lines, several flights on the floor. It’s going to cut through that wait time really quickly and get people out.”

Salt Lake City International airport services 9 international flights and airport officials expect that number to grow. Last year, 136,000 international passengers went through customs.

Bianca Shreeve is the public relations manager for the airport. She says they purchased the machines to help make the travel experience better.

“After a long flight, the last thing people want to do is sit in a long line," she says. "So, these machines, and this technology is really here to help them get through the lines faster so that they can pick up their luggage and go home.”

The kiosks have only been available for about a year, but international airports across the country are quickly adopting the new technology. And while the Salt Lake City airport only has four right now, they are planning on purchasing more in the near future. 

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.