US Customs and Border Protection implements simplified arrival for passengers at MSP Airport | KSTP.com

US Customs and Border Protection implements simplified arrival for passengers at MSP Airport

Travelers lug their suitcases Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in the ticketing area of Terminal 1 of Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Photo: KSTP. Travelers lug their suitcases Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in the ticketing area of Terminal 1 of Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: January 27, 2021 03:29 PM
Created: January 27, 2021 12:45 PM

As of Wednesday, arriving international passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport can benefit from new technology that automates the inspection process required for entry into the country, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP has deployed the Simplified Arrival program at both MSP terminals.

The program uses facial biometrics to automate the checking of documents required for admission into the United States. CBP says the technology provides travelers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. 

“CBP is expanding the use of facial biometrics at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport to provide travelers a safe, touchless international arrival process that further secures and modernizes air travel,” said Diane J. Sabatino, CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations. “Collaborating with partners like the Metropolitan Airports Commission has enabled CBP to deliver a secure, streamlined travel process that will enhance the customer experience and support the travel recovery efforts.”

According to CBP, Simplified Arrival only used the biometric facial comparison process at the time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document. When travelers arrive at MSP, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. Then, CBP's biometric facial comparison process will compare the new photo of the traveler to a small gallery of high-quality images that the traveler has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos.

In addition, foreign travelers who have traveled to the U.S. previously will no longer need to provide fingerprints as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial comparison process.

“The deployment of Simplified Arrival at MSP is a huge step forward for MSP and our stakeholder partners and the result of considerable work and cooperation between airports and CBP at both the local and national level,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates MSP. “The system will improve the experience for our arriving international passengers.”

Those who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may request a manual document check by notifying a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. These travelers 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 country.

MSP is one of 31 airports where CBP has deployed the Simplified Arrival program, including Miami International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

In addition to the new technology, the MAC is in the final stage of removing the previous Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and reconfiguring international arrival security areas for additional queuing and improved social distancing measures.

For more information on the new technology being introduced at MSP, click here.


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