Thousands of crewmembers are processed by Customs and Border Protection Officers in extremely busy airports with numbers that range as high as 41 million passengers (including as much as 8 million international passengers) in Atlanta's Hartfield Jackson International Airport (US busiest airport) to average 29 million passengers a year including 9 million international passengers every year in over 20 airports around the United States.
Crewmember processing is a process that, as essential as it is to airlines and airports alike, sometimes takes excessive time, particularly based on different airports having different processing procedures in regards to crewmembers. This excessive processing time becomes detrimental to the CBP Mission and disruptive to the crewmembers involved, creating additional waiting times for traveling passengers.
Several crewmembers have opted to obtain Trusted Traveler Program memberships, which in my opinion should be used only by passengers, not crewmembers.
I propose that the CBP Crewmember Declarations be eliminated and be substituted by the following:
-An online enrollment system for airline crewmembers, based on the same law enforcement principle as these CBP programs:
-ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which since 2009, allows Visa Waiver Country passengers to register online previously to travel to the United States for a period that is valid for up to two years. This program eliminates the need for a paper issued CBP I-94 W Form for whoever is enrolled in it and travels by air or sea.
-eAPIS (Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System) has been used as a tool to report arrival by private and commercial aircraft since 2009.
This initiative simply proposes that CBP takes advantage of two well established and proven effective programs, used since 2009, and reduce the processing time for crewmembers, therefore allowing for more CBP Officers availability to process air passengers more effectively.