Orlando International Airport first airport to make customs form digital

Passenger information from airlines more accessible to Customs, Homeland Security

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando International Airport became the first in the country Tuesday to automate the process for the I-94 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol form required of most international travelers.

TAM and Copa airlines now submit passenger information straight to Customs, which documents passengers' arrival and departure. Airport administrators say the automation saves not only paper, but on average 20 seconds per passenger. For a plane full of 200 people that's more than an hour saved.

Lines could be cut down and tourists will have one less form to complete.

"It's going to be a reduction in time and more efficient. It'll be one less form international passengers will have to complete," said Brigitte Goersch, deputy executive director of administration, security and technology.

A spokesman for Customs says having arrival and departure information instantly could also make it easier for the Department of Homeland Security to access passenger information if needed for security purposes. Although most of the same information was already available via airlines anyway.

Although OIA is the first the roll out the arrival and departure technology other airports and seaports will begin the process later this week.

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