Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility Marks One Million Passengers

Up to date on March 18 with data from U.S. Customs and Border Safety.

Multiple million vacationers have handed via a U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport that opened two years in the past regardless of being opposed by U.S. airline trade teams. The UAE emirate stays the one such preclearance location within the Center East.

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Airline trade teams in each the U.S. and Europe lined up in opposition when the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, CBP’s mum or dad group, revealed its plan to open the Abu Dhabi facility in early 2013. Supported by some lawmakers, the teams alleged that the power would assist state-owned provider Etihad Airways entice passengers by facilitating journey via its residence airport. However Congress permitted the mandatory funding in an omnibus appropriations invoice that handed the next 12 months, and the power quietly opened on Jan. 23, 2014.

Airline passengers touring to the U.S. from Asia or Europe can keep away from lengthy customs traces upon arrival by passing via the CBP preclearance facility, which is 85-percent funded by the UAE authorities. A CBP “preclearance queue occasions report” from mid-November, the newest date accessible, reveals a longest wait time of quarter-hour, though an earlier report reveals a 41-minute wait. Final 12 months, 615,478 vacationers used the power; of these 106,851 began their journeys in Abu Dhabi, the stability have been switch passengers, in line with Abu Dhabi Airports.

The CBP contends that it could possibly display for high-risk passengers in search of entry into the U.S. earlier within the journey cycle and assist relieve traces at main ports of entry. The customs company operates different preclearance amenities in Canada, the Caribbean and Eire, and it has plans to increase the variety of places. (The DHS and CBP are discussing agreements with ten new airports in 9 overseas nations “recognized as precedence places for air preclearance growth,” the CBP mentioned in response to an AIN inquiry. The primary new preclearance settlement is anticipated to be signed inside the subsequent six months; as soon as the power building is accomplished, the brand new location could be anticipated to start processing passengers inside 18 months.)

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In its first 12 months of operation, the Abu Dhabi preclearance facility prohibited 450 folks from boarding flights to the U.S., a few of whom have been suspected terrorists, Homeland Safety Secretary Jeh Johnson has mentioned. (There have been a complete of 1,373 “inadmissible passengers” from the beginning of the power’s operation in January 2014 via March 12, 2016, the CBP mentioned.) Inside seven months of its opening, in August 2014, CBP agriculture specialists assigned to the power “intercepted 9 Khapra beetle larvae and two pores and skin casts from a bag of dried chick peas” saved in a passenger’s checked baggage from Karachi, Pakistan. The Khapra beetle is an invasive species that destroys grain and causes sickness in people.

In November, the emirate authorities awarded the CBP facility an Abu Dhabi Award for excellence. Etihad Airways introduced the million-passenger milestone on March 17. The airline, Abu Dhabi Airports and the CBP offered that passenger—who was touring to Washington, D.C.—with 250,000 Etihad Visitor Miles and an improve to first-class.

“We’re proud to be one of many few airports world wide, and the one one within the Center East and Africa to host this facility,” acknowledged Ahmad Al Haddabi, Abu Dhabi Airports chief operations officer. “The truth that at this time, simply over two years since opening in late January 2014, a million passengers have already used our U.S. preclearance providers, reveals that it’s a priceless facility provided by Abu Dhabi Airports and our accomplice Etihad Airways, and one that’s making AUH the airport of alternative for passengers touring to the U.S.”

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Khaled Al Mehairbi, Etihad’s senior vice chairman of airport operations, described the CBP facility as “is a novel promoting level” and a “main issue within the success of our rising American connections.”

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