Those enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) PreClearance program will soon be able to use it at foreign airports, according to a joint announcement this week from the TSA and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agencies.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that it will invite new airports to participate in the PreClearance program for the first time since 2016,” CBP said on Wednesday.
CBP has begun allowing foreign airports to apply for the program this week and TSA Administrator David P. Pekoske confirmed the news, writing that the TSA joins CBP “in announcing new foreign airports may now apply to join PreClearance so they can offer secure and seamless travel to their travelers heading to the United States from international destinations.”
To be allowed in the program, foreign airports must meet a number of requirements—they must first host a U.S. air carrier operation, then have a suitable facility for the PreClearance processing, and be open to sharing the costs of the program with the U.S. government.
The airports must also have the same security standards and protocols that the U.S. government requires from its own airports, including new COVID-19 standards that the CBP and the TSA have put in place.
“PreClearance requires bilateral agreements between the United States and the host country, so it is essential for interested airports to coordinate closely with their governments throughout the application processes,” CBP said.
There are already 16 foreign airports spread across six countries that have the program.