May introduce entry checks to the US at Norwegian airports

Passport control at the Oslo airportPassport control at the Oslo airport.Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Norwegian authorities are preparing for negotiations with US authorities for entry checks at Oslo Airport for those who will be traveling to the United States.

It is the specialist section in the Ministry of Transport  that is dealing with the matter and is now in consultation with other relevant ministries, the news agency NTB was informed on  Monday.

Since last summer, the airport management at Oslo Airport has been working  to prepare the scheme which will allow travelers to do away with US checks and customs clearance on Norwegian soil, and land in the United States as if it were a domestic flight.

Detailed plans

– Plans that were a little rough hewn  a year ago, have now been elaborated together with the Americans. We now have a program that we both believe in, said Knut Holen, Director of terminal operations at Gardermoen.

The Terminal Director says it is about the physical layout of the airport.
– This will not be associated with the new terminal which is now ready, but be for another stage of development.

We are also dependent on a process between Norwegian and US authorities. That’s what we are waiting for, says Holen. He adds that the new regime will take several years before the new system is in place.
Arlanda in 2019

Sweden is likely to become the first Scandinavian country to introduce the so-called pre-clearance for air travelers to the United States.

In this case, Sweden will be the second country in Europe that gives travelers this possibility. Today, only Ireland has this offer.

Airport Director Kjell-Åke Westin at Stockholm Arlanda Airport says to TT that depending on when the political process is finished, he calculates that the scheme will be in place sometime towards the end of 2019.

He believes it will not cause the long  queues,  with travelers entry checks moved from the US to Arlanda.
– In the US, there are many flights that come in bulk from Europe, it’s like a wave coming in. That we are not going to experience here at Arlanda, he said.

Domestic Passenger

He explains that the passengers to the United States will check in as usual and go through security before they arrive at the new facility, where they will go through American security where documents are checked and you go through customs.

Your luggage will be checked by special procedures. At Arlanda we will have four gates so that the airport can run four departures to the United States simultaneously.

Thus you become “pre-cleared”, which means that you are treated as a domestic passenger.

– I have personally tried it, and when you have landed you’re out after fifteen minutes. This means a lot, says the  airport Director.

Armament

Swedish police has also investigated whether the US officials who will perform the job can be armed. It is also one of the questions the Norwegian government must decide.

Oslo Airport Gardermoen is equal to Arlanda, and selected by US authorities as one of ten new airports in the world to have such an offer.

– Bearing arms is one of the issues being discussed. There are some practical questions we must investigate further and find good solutions to.

It must both satisfy the Americans’ security requirements whilst maintaining what is important to us, said Holen NTB last summer.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

 

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