Newark Liberty International Airport kiosks expected to ease customs wait times
NEWARK - Long lines at one terminal might get a little shorter after officials at Newark Liberty International Airport unveiled automated kiosks to help travelers get through customs faster.
The kiosks have been set up in Terminal C's international arrivals area to help speed up the customs process for travelers arriving in the U.S.
"We are striving to make the traveler's entry into the U.S. as fast, intuitive, and paperless as possible," says Robert Perez, of U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
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The kiosks take care of the administrative portion of the customs process. Travelers scan their passports, answer a few questions, and have their picture taken.
If there is a discrepancy, such as the kiosk picture not matching the passport picture, an agent is alerted. If everything checks out, the customer gets a receipt.
"Travelers are then inspected by that primary CBP officer to verify the purpose and intent of their travel," Perez says.
Officials say wait times at traditional customs check-points can exceed one hour at peak times. They say the kiosks have reduced wait times by up to 45 percent. Customers say it does not seem to reduce the level of security.
"If it doesn't look right, you have to go through additional screening," says traveler Cindy Gration. "So I think it's safe."
There are 20 kiosks at the United terminal, with 10 more set to be deployed in the near future. The kiosks are currently at 15 airports throughout the U.S. and Canada, with plans to add them to five more airports in the coming months.