Gov. Ige Supports Making International Travel Easier
By Maui Now Staff
The US Customs and Border Protection has announced its intent to enter into negotiations with nine countries for US preclearance at 10 airports (read Preclearance Will Allow Direct Foreign Travel to Neighbor Islands).
Through the preclearance program, immigration, customs and agriculture inspections can be completed before departure from the originating country, allowing passengers to avoid additional processing or delays at domestic airports.
“This is a significant step forward for Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, which is the single largest component of the state’s economy,” said Gov. David Ige. “Japan is Hawai‘i’s biggest international market, accounting for about 18 percent of international travelers to Hawai‘i, which brings in about $1.5 billion a year to the state’s economy.”
“I would like to thank Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority for their work to expand preclearance to Japan’s Narita International Airport,” Ige continued. “Preclearance has been a top priority for my administration and I’m happy to see that it is moving forward. It would provide our valued Japanese visitors with a more pleasant arrival experience by alleviating congestion at the Honolulu International Airport, the state’s only international airport and currently the country’s fourth busiest international port of entry. Easing access will encourage travel to the Neighbor Islands and repeat visits to our beautiful state.”
Other locations and airports include:
- Belgium’s Brussels Airport
- Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana International Airport
- Netherland’s Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
- Norway’s Oslo Airport
- Sweden’s Stockholm Arlanda Airport
- Turkey’s Istanbul Ataturk Airport
- United Kingdom’s London Heathrow Airport
- United Kingdom’s Manchester Airport
Agter CBP invited foreign airports to submit letters of interest in hosting US preclearance operations, it received responses from 25 locations in 15 different countries.
The Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with the Department of State, intends to expand preclearance operations in an open and deliberative manner, prioritizing locations with the greatest potential to support joint security, strategic and operational goals.