The Lynden Pindling International Airport. (File photo)
STARTING today, US Customs and Border Protection Preclearance operations at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau will introduce Simplified Arrival.
Simplified Arrival uses facial comparison technology to make inspection easier and faster for travellers, and more secure and efficient for CBP officers and everyone involved in the process, a press release from the US Embassy in Nassau noted.
Simplified Arrival also has public health benefits. By reducing the need to capture fingerprints or handle documents, the new technology helps limit the spread of disease and infection.
When arriving at or departing from LPIA in Nassau, as well as other select airports during international travel, passengers will pause for a photo at the CBP primary inspection area or their departure gate.
In a matter of seconds, CBP’s biometric facial comparison service will automatically compare the new photo of the traveller to images that the traveller has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos.
A CBP officer then interviews the traveller to validate results, establish the purpose and intent of travel, and determine admissibility to the United States.
Eligible travellers who wish to opt out of the process may notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. These travellers will present their valid travel documents for manual identity verification by a CBP officer in accordance with existing requirements for entry into the United States.
More details on the equipment are available at https://biometrics.cbp.gov
On the issue of security and privacy, US officials said CBP is “committed to privacy and has taken steps to safeguard the privacy of all travellers”. CBP has employed leading industry technical security safeguards and has limited the amount of personally identifiable information used in the facial biometric process, the press release noted.
“Moreover, CBP uses facial comparison technology simply to automate the document checks that are already required at all US ports of entry, and only at specific times and locations where travellers are already required to present proof of identity. New photos of US citizens will be deleted within 12 hours, and photos of foreign nationals will be stored in a secure DHS system.
“Facial comparison technology enhances CBP’s ability to facilitate lawful travel and secure the border and expand on the benefits of CBP preclearance through LPIA. This process provides travellers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while providing CBP officers time to focus on travellers’ intent instead of administrative tasks.”
The press release also noted that preclearance requirements for travellers have not changed.
“We kindly remind all passengers that CBP officers evaluate every application for admission to the United States on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with existing laws and regulations. In other words, each person’s travel situation is unique, and is evaluated as such,” the US Embassy said.