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New App Fast-tracks Passport Control

App-Port Solutions

Via Daily Mail

Passport control can be a real pain, lines at the airport are irritating enough to negotiate when you’re just getting on or off the plane, but throw in the added barricade of a form about declarations and whatnot and suddenly a mildly irritating queue becomes an agonising ordeal, especially if you’re on a return journey and so ravaged with jetlag that anyone standing too near you is running the risk of being beaten to death with a baggage trolley.

Well guess what? Now there’s an app for that! Passport control, not beating people to death with baggage trolleys. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have introduced an app which allows passengers to enter passport and declaration information into their smartphones or tablets, then just scan through as they go through arrivals. On Tuesday Miami International Airport became the second commercial airport in the US to implement the system, it having previously been field tested in Atlanta.

The iOS/Android app is available for free to any US citizen with a valid passport, as well as Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport and either a B1 or B2 visa. Once you have it, you set up a profile with your passport details and some basic information, a selfie (which you’re actually allowed to smile for, it would seem) and a pin code, and then when you arrive at your destination you fill out the necessary information and just scan through. Users are directed through a dedicated (and presumably much faster) lane out of customs. You still need your actual passport though, before you do anything drastic. Seriously, put those scissors down. 

Some concerns have been raised about privacy, but the app developers have made assurances that all the information is encrypted. Of course, it’s all well and good if you fly in and out of MIA or ATL on a regular basis, but for everyone else, it’ll need to get introduced nationwide (or even globally) before it’s really worth anything. At the rate it’s catching on though, I doubt it’ll be too long before that happens. Hopefully after that they can move on to developing an app that stops your luggage from ending up on the wrong plane.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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New App Fast-tracks Passport Control Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, March 06, 2015 Rating: 5
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