U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun operating Global Entry enrollment centers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), allowing U.S. passengers to use a customs kiosk instead of going through passport control lines.

Global Entry is a new program that allows approved U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S. to use the Global Entry kiosk as an alternative to the regular passport control line.

At the kiosk, Global Entry members will activate the system by inserting their U.S. passport or permanent resident card into a document reader. The kiosk will direct travelers to provide digital fingerprints and will compare that biometric data with the fingerprints on file, customs officials said.

Customs and Border Protection Los Angeles assistant port director Sergio Espinoza announced the new program at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, along with Customs and Border Protection area port director Carlos C. Martel and Los Angeles World Airports executive director Gina Marie Lindsey.

Global Entry travelers will be prompted to answer declaration-related questions on the kiosk’s touch-screen. A transaction receipt will be issued upon completion that must be presented to Customs and Border Protection officers before leaving the inspection area.

Global Entry is currently open only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

“CBP [Customs and Border Protection] is pleased to be able to provide this program that allows low-risk international air travelers in expediting their return to their homeland,” said Espinoza.

Lindsey of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, added, “International business and tourism travel is one of the most important engines of Southern California’s economy.

“The first impressions of over 17 million annual international travelers (28 percent of our total passenger volume) to Southern California is what they see and experience at LAX. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s launch of the Global Entry Program is a demonstration of their commitment as a partner in our efforts to improve the overall passenger experience at LAX.”

The Global Entry pilot program began June 6th at JFK International Airport in New York, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston and Washington Dulles International airports. To date, approximately 4,000 travelers have enrolled and more than 1,700 Global Entry members have used kiosks at the three existing pilot locations.

In addition to LAX, the program has expanded to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, Chicago O’Hare International and Miami International airports. Global Entry applicants are now able to complete their interview and biometric data collection at these sites.

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