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US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Photo of travellers walking through airport
2015-02-04, kl. 13:46

Stockholm Arlanda Airport could now become the first airport in Scandinavia to introduce what is known as US preclearance. US preclearance means that US immigration and customs inspection is carried out when a passenger departs from Stockholm instead of upon arrival in the US.

The Swedish government today announced its decision to study the possibility of introducing US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The announcement means that Sweden could become the second country in Europe, after Ireland, to conduct an immigration and customs check on passengers to the US upon their departure. Today almost 500,000 passengers fly from Sweden to various destinations in the US.

“US preclearance makes it easier to fly from Sweden to the US and would be a very important step in improving Swedish connectivity. While we await a final decision, this is now being integrated into the development plans for Stockholm Arlanda Airport, with our aim to be the leading airport in Scandinavia,” says Torborg Chetkovich, group CEO of Swedavia.

Swedavia previously adopted a decision on the long-term development of Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which includes SEK 13 billion in capital spending. The first step is intended to meet the growing demand for air links with countries outside Europe. As a result of today’s announcement, the possibility of US preclearance will be fully integrated into the continued development of the airport.

The introduction of US preclearance depends on the final approval of both Swedish and US government authorities. Swedavia estimates that the building process, if approval is granted, would take about two years.

US preclearance in brief

US preclearance means that a US immigration and customs check is carried out when a passenger departs from Stockholm Arlanda Airport instead of upon arrival in the US. Upon arriving, the passenger is processed as a domestic passenger, avoids long queues and can easily continue on to a connecting flight.

In Europe, US preclearance is used successfully at two airports in Ireland, Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport.