CBP opens new processing facility to collect biometrics at Omaha airport
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently opened a new processing facility at TAC Air in Omaha to provide international travelers on private planes with a more streamlined process when checking items, according to a report by KIOS.
The facility now offers the full security measures required by the 9/11 Commission, including biometrics authentication technology, enabling CBP to accommodate more passengers at one time.
“We ask the same questions, we have the Customs Declaration, and we have the ability for those who need it to capture the biometrics,” said William Ferrara, director of field operations for the Chicago Field Office. “And then once we’re done with our inspection, and everything is fine, the passengers can leave and get back on the aircraft, or come here.”
Ferrara said flights that were not previously authorized to land in Omaha are now allowed at the new facility.
For example, if a flight had a foreign national on board, it would have to find another airport at which to land because Omaha did not have the required security measures to process foreign national passengers.
Upon landing, Customs officials can now meet the plane in a secure area on the tarmac, and bring the passengers inside the facility to process their items.
If necessary, officials are able to search, interview, and take custody of passengers in the holding rooms.
Last year, U.S. CBP in Omaha processed a total of 300 flights. They have already surpassed this number with 400 flights.
Previously reported, the Custom and Border Protection’s Entry/Exit Transformation (EXT) Office are piloting several programs to make the process of collecting biometric data from foreign travelers entering and leaving the United States less invasive.