Information Technology: Mobile Passport Control Debuts at Atlanta Airport

Airlines and Aviation

Atlanta International Airport is the first airport in the United States to launch Mobile Passport Control, speeding up customs procedures for passengers arriving from overseas. It will soon be extended to other US airports.

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) was launched on 13 August 2014 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.

Eligible passengers can download the app for free on their iPhone or iPad. They can then follow a 4 step procedure:

  • Create a profile.
  • Complete information on their current trip.
  • Submit an electronic customs declaration form.
  • Proceed to passport control with their passport and digital bar-cded receipt.

The new technology will be introduced at other US airports later in the year. The app will also be made available to other types of smartphones in the future.

“We are strongly committed to the facilitation of travel and tourism to the United States, all while maintaining the highest security standards in the world,” says U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Mobile Passport Control is an important step and one that we think the traveling public will embrace.” 

Technological Breakthrough

The new technology was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International North America (ACI-NA) in partnership with CBP.

“Mobile Passport Control represents a tremendous breakthrough in improving a part of air travel that can prove tedious to many travelers entering or returning to the U.S.,” says Deborah McElroy, Interim President of ACI-NA. 

“MPC brings the streamlined functionality of a kiosk to the smartphone, and ACI-NA is proud to partner with Airside Mobile and CBP in delivering this technology to passengers.”

Airside CEO Hans Miller is equally upbeat.

“MPC will create a faster, easier experience for processing through Customs, which will really help travelers when they are tired and just want to get to their home or hotel,” Hans says. 

“If you’ve ever used your phone to get a boarding pass or a movie ticket, you’ll feel right at home with this new process. We are excited to be helping ACI-NA and CBP make a real difference in the travel experience.”

Improved Efficiency

The U.S. Travel Association has welcomed the move.

“Once again, CBP has taken steps to improve efficiency and reduce hassles while maintaining strict security requirements,” says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

“The agency’s Mobile Passport prototype allows eligible arriving passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to submit passport information and customs declaration forms right in the palms of their hands. This new app streamlines CBP resources and creates an expedited entry experience that aligns with today’s digital age.”

The new app follows the CBP’s recent introduction of automated arrival and departure records, which are available at more than 20 locations in the United States and Canada.

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