New mobile passport app to speed airport waiting times at Sky Harbor

A new app could be the answer to getting through those U.S. Customs and Border Protection lines quickly.

You can now speed through the arrival process at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport using a mobile app that transmits your passport information and answers to inspection-related questions directly to CPB.

Sky Harbor is now one of 21 airports to use this technology to expedite U.S. citizen and Canadian visitor arrivals. The Mobile Passport Control app is a joint effort by the Airports Council International and CBP, and is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

“Phoenix Sky Harbor is excited for the launch of this new initiative,” said Jim Bennett, director of Aviation Services. “In keeping with our goal of providing world-class service to our customers, this program will help travelers arrive into the country more quickly and provide them with a more efficient traveling experience.”

Eligible users — U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors with a smartphone — can download the app, create a profile with passport details and the answers to common inspection questions. From there, travelers receive an encrypted QR code they can use to finalize their entry in the country.

But don’t throw out your passport yet.

The app does not replace a passport, and travelers will still need to have one upon arrival. However, app users can use a special express lane.

The app makes the passport inspection process faster and more efficient, so although you still have to be processed by a CPB officer, it shouldn’t take as long. There’s also no need for a declaration form — by answering the questions in the app, the officer can verbally verify them.

“CPB is committed to improving the international travel experience by offering new and innovative technology to streamline the arrivals process,” said Port Director Luz Galarza in a statement. “Through our partnership with the City of Phoenix, travelers arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will have another processing option to use that has been proven to reduce wait times without comprising our important border protection mission.”

The app follows other programs developed to expedite the U.S. arrival process by Sky harbor and CPB, such as the Automated Passport Control Kiosks, which allow travelers to answer CBP inspection questions and submit personal information. Global Entry is designed to make the lines easier, allowing pre-approved, low risk travelers arriving in the U.S. to use the kiosks

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