Airports exist to provide for the safe, secure, and efficient movement of people and goods. Airports want the same thing their passengers want: a hassle-free travel experience with excellent price and service competition. In addition to modernizing our aging infrastructure with more comfortable and hassle-free terminals, we continue to work with the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection to ensure passengers aren’t standing in long lines to get through our airports. Airports are working with their partners to deploy new technologies, like biometrics, to expedite the screening process.
As frustrating as long security and border control lines are for passengers and airports alike, maintaining the safety and security of the traveling public remains the top priority for airports. Passengers often look to the airports to resolve these frustrations. That is why ACI-NA continues to advocate for resources and better processes to improve passenger security screening and facilitation.
Many airports are challenged with delays in processing passengers from international destinations, knowns as passenger facilitation. Airports and airlines agree biometric entry has the potential to change the way passengers travel through airports but there are still many questions to be answered. Airports continue their work with airlines, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as they upgrade their equipment and processes to improve the passenger experience.
To provide the safest and most secure passenger experience possible, we must ensure that airports have the resources they need to improve their infrastructure and that the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have the staffing resources they need to protect the American public in a complex world while providing an efficient screening process.
In their continuing commitment to enhance the passenger experience, airports are deploying the latest trends in technology. To keep up with increasing international traffic into the United States, airports have launched innovative technologies including Mobile Passport Control at 25 of our nation’s busiest airports and Automated Passport Control kiosks at most others to help expedite entry into the United States. The success of Mobile Passport is directly attributable to the strong partnerships between airports and Customs and Border Protection.
Airports are proactively promoting Trusted Traveler Programs – including TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and NEXUS – to expedite security screening and processing at U.S. and Canadian airports for pre-approved passengers.
Passengers with Disabilities
Airports are required to comply with a myriad of federal, state, and local regulations, including regulations stemming from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Justice’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The average airport terminal in the United States is more than 40 years old. Terminals are either out of date or out of space. Airports have a $100 billion in backlogged projects because of regulatory and financial constraints that delay getting a shovel in the ground. Updating the way we finance airport infrastructure projects would help airports complete projects faster and cheaper for the benefit of passengers.
And because airport infrastructure needs continue to outpace their ability to invest, we will only see costs increase and passenger satisfaction decrease the longer we wait to make these changes.
The benefits for modernized airport infrastructure could not be clearer. In addition to increased price and service competition, our passengers will have a better experience with safer, more comfortable and efficient facilities. Our airline partners will reduce costs through greater efficiency.
Our current airport system was designed for half the traffic volume we have today. That’s why it is more important now than ever that we modernize airport infrastructure and improve the security and screening facilitation process to ensure a competitive 21st century airport system.