US Pre-Clearance is a program that allows travelers to essentially clear customs while still abroad, before getting on the US-bound flight at the foreign airport. The flight will then arrive like a domestic flight, and passengers can immediately get on their way upon arrival in the US. A fair number of Canadian and Caribbean airports offer this already, which is a pretty good time saver. There are also Pre-Clearance facilities in Dublin, Shannon, and Abu Dhabi airports.
Earlier this year, the US Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) announced 10 priority cities for Pre-clearance operations. It looks like one of those cities is coming onboard—Stockholm will be adding Pre-Clearance facilities in the Summer of 2018. In a press release, Karl Wistrand, President and CEO of Swedavia, a state-owned group that operates 10 Swedish airports, says:
The US is Sweden’s most important trading partner after Britain; it feels really good now that the agreement with CPB has been signed. The agreement between Sweden and the US will benefit Swedish access. Travel between the two countries has increased sharply in recent years, to more than 600,000 passengers, and introduction of US preclearance will have a strong positive effect on both foreign investment and Swedish tourism.
Over 1 million flew between Sweden and the US in 2015, with 60% of them flying non-stop. If executed properly, the addition of a Pre-clearance facility will benefit a good number of travelers. Swedavia applied for the Pre-clearance program a while ago, and the bilateral agreement has been signed betwen Swedish and US government. However, the logistics is still subject to Swedish parliamentary approval.
Swedavia is already preparing for the facility, though, which they say will take 12 – 18 months to build. Stockholm airport is projecting completion in Summer 2018, when they will join Dublin and Shannon airports as the third European airport with US Pre-Clearance. In fact, they even have a directory on their website as to where the CBP operations will be located!
Are you excited about the Pre-Clearance facility in Stockholm?