Updated 03/15/2012 08:30 PM
Global Entry initiative debuts at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
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CHARLOTTE — A new initiative that hopes to reduce wait times for international travelers is under way at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and demonstration was held Thursday morning for the Global Entry program.
The initiative will allow low-risk international travelers to clear customs through a designated kiosk by using biometric identification. Airport officials say the voluntary program is expected to reduce wait times by more than 70 percent.
Officials compare the system to
“It is fast, easy and secure. We are very excited here in Charlotte to have it here with us,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Patricia Fitzpatrick.
Pre-approved passengers are able to bypass Customs lines and walk up to one of the kiosks. Officials compare the system to an ATM. The machine will scan the passenger's passport, biometrics, and take a photograph.
Charlotte-Douglas is the 24th airport in the United States to use the Global Entry program and the first in North Carolina. A recent executive order expanded the initiative to four additional airports including Charlotte.