Flight security

Edinburgh Airport plans pre-clearance for US flights

Edinburgh airport
Edinburgh Airport is working on a US immigration plan

Edinburgh Airport hopes to become the first in the UK to provide immigration clearance for passengers flying to the United States.

They would avoid lengthy delays at US immigration by completing the necessary checks before departure.

It is thought that a pre-clearance zone would also benefit exporters as it would allow customs inspections to be undertaken in Scotland.

The proposal, which has been circulated among a number of interested parties, comes amid a return to transatlantic business, including more regular flights by United Airlines, Delta and Virgin Atlantic, connecting Scotland with key US cities.

Dublin and Shannon airports in Ireland are the only terminals in Europe that offer pre-clearance into the US and there were talks in 2016 for Edinburgh to follow suit.

The airport has begun sounding out business organisations to see what they would want from a pre-clearance offering, according to The Times.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and Scotland Food and Drink are thought to be among those contacted.

The airport is said to be working with Pangiam, a public-private security partnership which has experience in facial recognition and artificial intelligence software.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport has confirmed that a pre-clearance plan is being considered.

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