Shannon International Airport is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the introduction of US preclearance services at Shannon. Established at the airport on 4 August 2009, Shannon was the first airport in Europe and the Middle East to offer this service.
This allows passengers bound for the USA to preclear agriculture, customs and immigration controls at Shannon and arrive in the USA as a domestic passenger, removing any further processing stateside and saving them considerable time as a result, in particular for onward connections. For the airlines it opened up the use of domestic gates and terminals for these flights.
The first airlines to use Shannon Airport in the early days of US preclearance in 2009 were US Airways (now American Airlines), Continental (now United Airlines), Delta, Aer Lingus and British Airways.
The following year in 2010, Shannon Airport had another first, becoming the first airport in the world to offer full US preclearance for business jets.
Today, Shannon remains the only airport in North America, Europe and the Middle East providing this service, and the only airport in the world offering passengers screening to European and US Transportation Security standards in the one location.
Mary Considine, Acting Chief Executive, Shannon Group, said: “Shannon Airport is delighted to be celebrating this anniversary with our colleagues in US Customs and Border Protection, who in turn have just celebrated the 230th Anniversary of the US Customs Services on 31 July last.
“Over the years we have worked closely with our colleagues in CBP and the National Business Aviation Association on process improvements and operational efficiencies and on 1 June this year CBP extended its opening hours service for business travellers and private aircraft and offer an out-of-hours service to our customers when required.
“In addition, last year CBP introduced a new facial technology system to become the first airport outside the Americas to use facial biometrics to verify the identity of travellers about to enter the USA.”