US immigration and customs inspection on departure
Stockholm Arlanda could become the first airport in Scandinavia to introduce what’s known as US preclearance – US immigration and customs inspection carried out when a passenger departs instead of on arrival in the USA.
Airport operator Swedavia said that benefits include “a better passenger experience, a smoother arrival in the US and the potential to attract new non-stop routes to the US”.
The Swedish government has decided to study the possibility of introducing US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda, with the consequence that Sweden may become the second country in Europe, after Ireland, to conduct such checks on departure. Almost 500,000 passengers currently fly from Sweden to various destinations in the US each year.
“US preclearance makes it easier to fly from Sweden to the US and would be a very important step in improving Swedish connectivity,” explains Torborg Chetkovich, Swedavia’s group CEO. “While we await a final decision, this is now being integrated into the development plans for Stockholm Arlanda Airport.”
Swedavia previously adopted a decision on the long-term development of Stockholm Arlanda, which includes SEK 13 billion (€106 million) in capital spending. The first step is intended to meet the growing demand for air links with countries outside Europe. As a result of the Swedish government’s announcement, Swedavia says, “the possibility of US preclearance will be fully integrated into the continued development of the airport”.
[photo courtesy Swedavia]