The U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, was in Shannon Airport this week to welcome the first transatlantic passengers traveling with Continental, Delta and US Airways after they werre cleared through the new U.S. pre-clearance service facility.
The passengers on Continental's flight CO025 from Shannon to Newark were the first to use the facilities, which eliminate the need to go through immigration on arrival in the U.S., so these passengers encountered no further checks at Newark, JFK and Philadelphia airports.
Shannon is the first airport outside of the U.S., Canada and Aruba to have these facilities, and Airport Director Martin Moroney said that the service would open up significant opportunities for business development over the years for Shannon.
"This is an historic day for our airport and, indeed, a milestone moment in Irish-U.S. relations," he said. “Shannon is the first airport in Ireland to have these facilities in place, and represents a major upgrade of the pre-inspection that commenced in 1986.”
The service commenced today with commercial flights provided by major U.S. carriers, while pre-clearance for general aviation, including corporate jets, is scheduled to begin later in the year. British Airways has already decided to have a transit stop in Shannon and avail of pre-clearance at the same time on its new all-business service from London City to JFK, which starts in September.