Automated Customs kiosks have reduced wait times by an average of 22 percent at JFK and Newark Liberty airports, according to a new study by the Global Gateway Alliance.
The study, which compared data from 2013 to 2014, calculated average wait times, maximum wait times, and arriving passenger traffic for each international terminal at JFK and Newark Liberty airports.
Wait times at terminals with kiosks dropped dramatically year to year, by 22 percent (6 minutes), whereas terminals without the kiosks held steady, experiencing on average a 0.43 minute reduction, which amounts to a marginal 1.54 percent.
JFK Airport has the highest international passenger traffic of any airport in the U.S., welcoming roughly 13.4 million passengers from overseas flights a year. Newark Liberty welcomes 5.7 million, making for over 19 million between the two of them.
In 2013 this high level of traffic proved difficult to handle; New York area airports had the longest wait times in the country. JFK Terminal 4 suffered the worst, with passengers stuck waiting over two hours on average and over five hours during peak periods.
However, Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks, installed in Terminals 1, 4 and 5 at JFK and Terminal B at Newark over the past two years, have simplified the Customs process and in doing so, greatly reduced wait times.
Passengers using the kiosks swipe their passport, answer some brief questions, and receive a printout receipt, so by the time passengers reach the booth, all the Customs agent has to do is verify their identity.