Dubai next to get US pre-clearance facility
Dubai, January 28, 2014
Dubai International Airport could be the next port of call for US pre-clearance customs procedures in the UAE following the opening of a post in Abu Dhabi last week, said a report.
Passengers began using the region’s first US pre-clearance customs checkpoint in Abu Dhabi on January 24. The post, manned by US customs officials, enables passengers to skip long queues on arrival in the US by clearing them for immigration prior to departing from Abu Dhabi, reported the Gulf News.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection website, pre-clearance checkpoints are available in 15 other locations in Ireland, the Caribbean and Canada.
It states that key objectives of the checkpoints is to prevent security threats, intercept inadmissible persons and goods, protect US agriculture, facilitate entry of legitimate trade and travellers, reduce congestion at US gateway airports and foster cooperation with foreign authorities.
With three leading airlines - Emirates, United and Delta - set to operate services to nine destinations in the US from Dubai International, the airport could be the next to have a pre-clearance checkpoint.
However, the pre-clearance posts move has been met with opposition by US carriers who claim it gives foreign airlines an unfair advantage, the report added.
Etihad is the only airline currently flying direct between the US and Abu Dhabi. It flies to New York, Washington DC and Chicago, and later this year will begin services to Los Angeles and Dallas.