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U.S., Canadian Airports Welcome Promise of a North American Approach to Trusted Travelers
WASHINGTON – Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) and the Canadian Airports Council (CAC) today welcomed the joint commitment of the United States, Canada and Mexico to develop a North America-wide trusted traveler program – building on the successes of the joint U.S.-Canada Nexus program and other trusted traveler programs in North America and around the world.
Trusted traveler programs provide pre-registered and qualified passengers with an improved border experience while enhancing security. According to the joint statement, the North American program will be established in 2014 and start with mutual recognition of the three countries’ NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI and Viajero Confiable programs.
“North America’s airports commend President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Peña Nieto for this landmark agreement,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “A North American trusted traveler program is an important next step in strengthening the commitment to free trade and cultural exchange among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and streamlining entry for participating passengers will help position air travel as a competitive, attractive option for tourists in all three countries.”
“North America’s airports have long supported the use of technology and innovative programs to improve both security and the passenger experience,” said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. “A North America-wide trusted traveler program can dramatically improve the flow of frequent travelers between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by focusing border resources where they can be most effective.”
The announcement came during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Toluca, Mexico, between U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of Mexico.
Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. ACI-NA is one of the five worldwide regions of Airports Council International.
The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), a division of Airports Council International-North America, is the voice for Canada’s airports community. Its 46 members represent more than 120 airports, including all of the privately operated National Airports System (NAS) airports and many municipal airports across Canada. Together, CAC members handle virtually all of the nation’s air cargo and international passenger traffic, and 95 percent of domestic passenger traffic. In 2012, Canada's air transportation industry had a C$34.9 billion economic footprint, supported 405,000 jobs, and federal taxes of more than C$7 billion.