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Global Entry Continues Growth in Houston


Approvals and kiosk usage both increase by more than
100 percent in first half of 2011


September 29, 2011



© Houston Airport System
The Global Entry Program at Bush Airport has grown by
147 percent within the past year alone.
The number of passengers utilizing the Global Entry program at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) continues to soar. Passenger approvals in Houston for the first six months of 2011 have increased by 147 percent when compared to totals from that same time period last year.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers who are entering the United States. Travelers can apply online and then participate in a brief interview where biometric information, such as a fingerprint scan is collected. The program requires a $100 non-refundable application fee, but if approved, membership is valid for five years with no additional charges.

Currently Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, Dutch citizens and Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens and residents may enjoy the benefits of Global Entry through membership in the NEXUS program. CBP is in negotiations with several other countries to develop cooperative programs, including the United Kingdom, Germany and South Korea.

Once approved, members are able to reduce their wait time in the Customs area by using designated kiosks rather than waiting in line to speak with a CBP officer. Participating passengers slide their passport into the kiosk reader, look at the kiosk camera for identification and then place their fingers on a scanner for print verification. The process takes less than 60 seconds. Since the program’s inception in 2008, George Bush Intercontinental Airport has consistently led the nation in the number of passengers taking advantage of the expedited service.

“The business community in Houston was very quick to recognize the benefits of the Global Entry program,” says Saba Abashawl, Chief External Affairs Officer with the Houston Airport System. “This is a diverse community that’s very familiar with the international travel process, so it’s not surprising that they would line up for this service in record numbers.”

From January throughJune this year, nearly 57,000 passengers used the 19 Global Entry kiosks found in the CBP Passport Control area inside Terminal E at Bush Intercontinental Airport. The high rate of usage is due in part to several different outreach efforts initiated by the Houston Airport System team. These include on-site enrollment programs, partnership efforts with the Greater Houston Partnership and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as general media outreach.

CBP also offers passengers in Houston access to a unique program called One Stop, which expedites passengers who have only carry-on luggage through a designated processing line. This program does not require membership or registration, but only that the traveler does not have any checked luggage. With One Stop, travelers provide their declaration form and approved travel documents to the CBP primary inspection officer who conducts a complete interview and review of documents to address admissibility, customs, agriculture and national security.

Since there is no additional luggage to check, One Stop passengers then use a special exit that bypasses the baggage carousels and CBP Exit Control area. Directional signage, in place within the processing area at Bush Intercontinental Airport, guides those eligible passengers into One Stop processing lanes. If you’d like more information on these CBP programs, visit http://globalentry.gov/
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