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New customs kiosks promise faster international travel experience at YYC airport

YYC Calgary International Airport has introduced new Primary Inspection Kiosks to allow passengers to speed through the customs process.   .
YYC Calgary International Airport has introduced new Primary Inspection Kiosks to allow passengers to speed through the customs process. . YYC Calgary International Airport

Travellers flying to and through Calgary from abroad can expect a faster pass through customs at YYC Calgary International Airport thanks to a new security screening process.

Starting May 22, international passengers passing through the airport will get through the customs process as much as 50 per cent faster, according to the airport authority.

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The Calgary Airport Authority along with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is implementing 80 Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK) at the airport which will completely change the customs process for some users and incorporates a mobile app.

The streamlined, self-service option replaces 43 existing units and standard paper declaration forms. Passengers will now have to answer a variety of questions, scan their travel documents and have their photo taken, which the airport says will only take a few moments.

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Thirty-six units launched at the airport Wednesday along with the downloadable mobile app where passengers can fill out their information beforehand to be quickly scanned at the PIKs.

“The app even works in your phone’s Airplane Mode so no data is required and, along with the kiosks, streamlines the process for guests arriving at YYC,” Michael Hayward, the vice president of marketing and guest experience with Calgary Airport Authority, said in a news release.

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While the airport warns there may be delays in the beginning transition time, the overall expectation is a better customer experience.

“The airport has been working very closely with CBSA on this transition and bringing this new technology to passengers,” said Mike Maxwell, vice president of infrastructure and chief information officer for the Calgary Airport Authority.

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The only travellers that won’t be able to use the new machines are unaccompanied minors and travellers with non-machine-readable documents.

CBSA and YYC said they hope the modernization will improve border-service relations and manage increasing volumes of travellers.

The CanBorder eDeclaration mobile app is available for download on your smartphone. An instructional YouTube video is also available for travellers to watch before they begin their journey.

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