US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced the addition of Tampa International Airport (TPA) to its growing roster of entry points into the United States that now feature its Simplified Arrival biometric traveler processing solution.
The Simplified Arrival program uses facial recognition to automate and streamline manual document checks and passenger processing required for entry into the United States.
The touchless experience has been expanding rapidly over the passed year, and CBP says it helps to fulfill a Congressional mandate that requires the recording of biometric data belonging to all non-US citizens upon their entry and exit at the country’s borders.
“We are excited to partner with the Tampa International Airport to expand the use of facial biometrics,” said CBP Acting Area Port Director Joseph Sabuda. “Using biometric systems is the future of travel and tourism because it creates a safe, secure, and touchless travel experience for anyone arriving in the United States.”
The process is voluntary for US citizens and a few select foreign nationals, with those eligible to opt out of the process required to do so by notifying a CBP officer upon their approach to the primary inspection point.
Just last month, CBP announced the expansion of the Simplified Arrival program to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. TPA and SJU now join a substantial number of air, sea, and land border crossings in Texas, California, and Arizona, as well as northern land crossings in Buffalo and Detroit that are also a part of the program.
“Tampa International Airport has always embraced innovation as a way to not only ensure passenger and airport safety but to enhance the customer experience,” said John Tiliacos, Executive Vice President of Operations and Customer Service at TPA. “Biometric screening is a huge advancement in air travel safety and convenience that sets us up for even more contactless and efficient processes in the future. We’re thankful for our strong partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in putting TPA at the forefront of this technology.”
To date, over 68 million travelers have had their facial biometric data registered through the program, with the CBP citing it as having led to nearly 600 foiled attempts at illegal entry by imposters.
April 13, 2021 – by Tony Bitzionis