US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA), has announced implementation of the Simplified Arrival process at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport (SIA) and the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM), both located in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Simplified Arrival process uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States, which fulfils a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-US citizens.
“CBP is excited to expand our Simplified Arrival program, in partnership with CPA, for international travellers arriving to Saipan,” said Richard F. Di Nucci, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco. “The combination of skilled CBP officers and the use of advanced biometric technology provides travellers with a secure, efficient, and touchless arrival process and enhances the customer experience.”
“The Simplified Arrival program further secures and modernises air travel at the Saipan International Airport,” said CPA Executive Director, Christopher S. Tenorio. “By streamlining the customer experience, the Saipan International Airport provides a warm welcome to our international tourists and travellers. CPA is deeply appreciative of its collaboration with CBP and looks forward to working with all airport partners to further enhance the CNMI’s travel recovery efforts.”
“We are excited to be rolling out CBP’s Simplified Arrival process at Guam International Airport,” said Richard F. Di Nucci, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco. “The combination of skilled CBP officers and the use of advanced biometric technology provides travellers with a secure, efficient, and touchless arrival process and enhances the customer experience.”
Simplified Arrival only uses the biometric facial comparison at a time and place where travellers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document. When travellers arrive from overseas, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point which will then be compared to the traveller’s passport or vis a photo. In addition, foreign travellers who have travelled to the US previously may no longer need to provide fingerprints as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial comparison process.
If a traveller cannot be matched to a photo on record using the Simplified Arrival process, the traveller will proceed through the traditional inspection process consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States. US citizens or those foreign travellers who are not required to provide biometrics who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. These travellers will be required to present a valid travel document for inspection by a CBP officer and they will be processed consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.
CBP has reportedly employed technical security safeguards and limited the amount of personally identifiable information used in the facial biometric process. New photos of US citizens will be deleted within 12 hours, with photos of most foreign nationals being stored in a secure Department of Homeland Security system.
Currently, CBP has also implemented biometric facial comparison technology partially or fully at entry into the United States at 172 airports, including Preclearance locations, and at exit from the United States at 32 airports. To date, more than 77 million travellers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land, and seaports of entry. Since September 2018, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 700 imposters from illegally entering the United States by using genuine travel documents that were issued to other people.
For more information, click here