I am proud to announce the launch of the Automated Passport Solution, a touchscreen kiosk-based customs inspection system aimed at streamlining the airport customs process and reducing customs processing times. The APS kiosk system will be launching this fall at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, with 30 APS units in the initial launch.
Customs wait times across the country have been skyrocketing at nearly every international airport across the United States. Over the past 20 years, there has been a 117 percent increase in international travelers flying in and out of the U.S. At the same time, there has been a $754 million reduction in the budgets to the customs and border protection departments over the past year as a result of government sequestration. As a result, wait times have increased exponentially, leaving travelers forced to endure long lines at most international terminals, resulting in extreme wait times, such as 182 minutes to pass through customs at JFK's international terminal.
The APS kiosk system has been developed as a tool to automate and streamline the passenger-checking process of international customs by providing a high-tech solution to check and gather data. The APS software provides a touchscreen interface that allows the passenger to navigate through the software without needing human assistance.
The APS first scans the passenger's passport using the attached passport scanner peripheral. This retrieves the passenger's personal information from the integrated customs database. The passenger then must respond to questions that are similar to those that are asked by a human customs official. The thermal printer attachment allows the passenger to print their answers to the questions directly from the APS system. In addition, the webcam peripheral takes the passenger's photograph and stores that in the customs database for future retrieval.
The APS kiosk is built on Olea's Metrolite Kiosk framework. For the APS, the Metrolite has already been outfitted with the capability to attach a fingerprint reader peripheral to provide for a greater level of security.