Napolitano Proposes Making U.S. Global Entry Program Permanent
By Kate Rice
February 07, 2012 5:03 PM
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has published a rule that would make Global Entry a permanent program. Right now, Global Entry is a voluntary U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative that lets pre-approved travelers expedite their trips through airport security.
“Global Entry expedites the customs and security process for trusted air travelers through biometric verification, while helping DHS ensure the safety of all airline passengers,” Napolitano said. “Making Global Entry permanent will improve customer service at airports across the country and enable law enforcement to focus on higher-risk travelers.” It’s now available at 20 U.S. international airports.
The final rule creates federal regulations that replace the current pilot with a permanent Global Entry program. The final rule provides CBP with the ability to expand the program to additional U.S. international airports. In addition, age eligibility criteria have changed to allow more families in the program. People under age 18 who meet the general eligibility criteria and have the consent of a parent or legal guardian will now be eligible to participate in Global Entry.
The U.S. Travel Association today commended the implementation of a final rule to make the Global Entry Program permanent. “Expanding and making the Global Entry Program permanent is a huge victory for 1.3 million travelers who, thanks to the program, experience less hassle when traveling to the United States,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We commend the administration for this action, and we will work with CBP to urge more travelers to enroll in the program to enjoy its benefits.
Today’s final rule expands the program to airports in Minneapolis, Charlotte, Denver and Phoenix, making expedited clearance available to 97 percent of international travelers to the U.S.
“The impact of a program like Global Entry on U.S. destinations, and particularly in the meetings industry, is significant,” said Dow. “Those who regularly travel enjoy fewer burdens thanks to Global Entry, making it more likely they will attend meetings and conventions in the U.S. Adding to current program participants Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, U.S. Travel urges CBP to quickly expedite bilateral agreements with South Korea, Singapore and Germany.”