CBP Advises International Passengers to Prepare as Peak Summer Air Travel Returns to Chicago’s Airports

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Passenger plane landing. Stock Photo.
Passenger plane landing. Stock Photo.

Chicago — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the implementation of proactive measures in anticipation of an expected three-fold growth in passenger volume for the 2021 summer season at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Midway International Airports (MDW).

StampCBP expects the passenger count to reach 18,000 a day, compared with 4,500 a day in the summer of 2020 – an increase of more than 300 percent.  

The expected reemergence of international travel is the result of the current vaccination levels, and subsequent lifting of local COVID-19 restrictions which will bring more international tourists as local attractions re-open.

“CBP is proactively mitigating any potential impact in wait times by maximizing our available resources,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Director of Field Operations in Chicago. “In order to improve the traveler’s experience this summer, we are realigning personnel during the peak hours and will be constantly adjusting those resources based on passenger demand.”

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Starting immediately, CBP at ORD and MDW will combine available resources to staff primary inspections during peak times, while maximizing the use of biometric technology to create a more seamless, secure, and safer travel experience to expedite passenger processing. CBP will  also work closely with industry partners and stakeholders on passenger flow efficiencies and will keep the traveling public informed about how to  avoid unnecessary delays.  

“We are advising travelers to be prepared for a high volume of passenger traffic,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago . “Just downloading the CBP Mobile Passport Control App (MPC) on their smartphones would allow travelers to skip long lines by using MPC dedicated lanes.”

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Top Ten Tips for international travelers:

To get familiar with federal laws and regulations visit the travel section of the CBP main website.

For more information, read the CBP brochure, “Know Before You Go.” Request printed copies or view it online at www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/cbp-publication-catalogue.

Office of Field Operations (OFO) is the largest component in CBP and is responsible for border security—including anti-terrorism, immigration, anti-smuggling, trade compliance, and agriculture protection—while simultaneously facilitating the lawful trade and travel at U.S. ports of entry that is critical to our Nation’s economy.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

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