Automated passport kiosks now in use at Charlotte Douglas

Passengers returning from overseas should have an easier time passing though customs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport now that 24 new automated passport control kiosks are up and running.

The kiosks are expected to cut re-entry times for U.S. citizens by as much as 50 percent, interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle said.

“They are a wonderful amenity, and they are allowing us to more efficiently process passengers,” he said.

The airport and the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol rolled out the kiosks last week. Charlotte Douglas is one of the first airports in the U.S. to get the kiosks, which are also in use at airports including Dallas/Fort Worth International, JFK International, Miami International and Chicago O’Hare International. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport decided to install automated passport kiosks this week.

Charlotte Douglas, an independently funded city department, spent $2.5 million on the kiosks, which it purchased from the Vancouver Airport Authority. That price includes five years of maintenance and support.

Travelers can use the kiosks to enter their passport information and answer basic customs questions. They are then issued a receipt, which they take to a customs agent for verification.

Cagle said it’s too soon to have data on how passenger wait times have been affected by the new kiosks. The number of international passengers using Charlotte Douglas was up 2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The airport’s international passenger numbers are expected to increase this summer when four new seasonal, nonstop flights to Europe start.