Agreement reached on US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda Airport
On Friday, the Swedish and US governments signed a bilateral agreement to introduce US border control at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. In conjunction, Swedavia signed an agreement with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on how this function will be handled at the airport.
“The US is Sweden’s most important trading partner after Britain. It feels really good now that the agreement with CPB has been signed. As we await a decision from the Swedish parliament, we will continue our preparatory work so that a decision on a larger investment in US preclearance facilities can be taken immediately once the legal process is completed, which is expected in the summer of 2018,” says Karl Wistrand, president and CEO of Swedavia.
In 2015, Stockholm Arlanda Airport was selected by US authorities as one of ten airports around the world with the possibility of establishing US border control on foreign soil prior to departure. As a result of today’s agreements, a preclearance facility can be built as soon as the legal process is completed to modify US preclearance to comply with Swedish laws. Swedavia will now proceed to the next preparatory phase of completing the project design and preparing a public tender for the coming facility.
“The agreement between Sweden and the US will benefit Swedish access. Travel between the two countries has increased sharply in recent years, to more than 600,000 passengers, and introduction of US preclearance will have a strong positive effect on both foreign investment and Swedish tourism,” Mr Wistrand adds.
In 2015, about 1.1 million passengers flew between Sweden and the US, with 60 per cent of them choosing direct flights. Over the past few years, the trend in air travel has been dominated by increased leisure travel in both directions. Meanwhile, thepassenger growth anticipated after introduction of US preclearance is expected to create 280 new jobs in the Swedish economy. Implementation of US preclearance ultimately requires the approval of the Swedish parliament and further capital spending to complete the facility.