Thursday, 7 May 2015 - 14:32
U.S. wants own Schiphol passport checkpoint
The United States wants travelers bound for America to be checked and verified at Schiphol airport. The Dutch government has received an official request from the United States to set up a so-called preclearance facility at the airport. This is according to a letter that Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice sent to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Wednesday. In this case preclearance means that the United Sates' border control, involving both people and the goods they carry with them, is done at an airport outside of the States. This is done after the passenger has gone through that country's, in this case the Netherlands, exit control and before he boards the plane taking him directly to America. According to the Minister, this would provide benefits for passengers traveling to America as the passenger would then enter the States as a local passenger and won't have to go through the US border control. This will make the waiting times on American soil shorter. Van der Steur is currently investigating the impact that an American preclearance facility at Schiphol will have on the airport, the airlines and the Dutch government, he wrote in his letter. According to him, the introduction of such an facility brings questions with it on the field of refused travelers, data sharing and the arming of US border guards. He has asked the European Commission for their opinion on the matter. America currently has border control facilities in 15 other countries, including Canada, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Aruba. The US wants to expand the number of preclearance locations and has there fore also approached other European countries with the same request.