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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s getting a lot easier for anyone on an international flight that lands at Kansas City International Airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it implemented a program called Simplified Arrival at the airport’s international terminal.

The process uses biometric facial recognition to identify each passenger and clear the traveler for entry into the U.S.


Simplified Arrival uses data from the flight’s manifest filed by the airline. It retrieves passport, visa, ID and other pictures from government databases for each traveler before the flight’s arrival.

As each traveler approaches the Customs and Border Protection inspection point, a picture is taken of the person. The program compares the photograph to the pre-collected galley for a match. If it works as designed, the process takes about two seconds, according to CBP.

The match also provides all additional information the agent needs. CBP said the agent will conduct a quick interview to validate the results and find out why the person is traveling. Then, each traveler is on their way.

Customs and Border Patrol says the process is faster, its paperless, it’s safer for everyone because fewer things are touched, and it reduces the threat of imposters or people traveling on fake or forged documents.

If a traveler cannot be matched using the Simplified Arrival process, the traveler will proceed through the traditional process when entering the country. 

If you wish to opt out of the new facial recognition program, notify an officer as you approach the primary inspection point in the terminal. You will be required to present a valid passport, or other documentation to an officer.

Agents said the pictures of U.S. citizens are deleted in about 12 hours. Pictures of foreign travelers are stored in a security system managed by the Department of Homeland Security.