Q2 2020

How will the move from APC Kiosks to Simplified Arrivals affect your airport?

With Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosks heading towards the end of their product life, and the roll out of the new replacement technology – Simplified Arrival – being prioritized to only the top 20 busiest airports in the U.S, how will airports that fall outside the criteria manage their aging technology?


The life of the APC Kiosk

The APC Kiosks were introduced back in the early 2010s to help speed up immigration, particularly at those airports where connection timings were tight. The servicing, support and maintenance of these kiosks are the responsibility of the airport.

They were originally introduced into airports to speed up the US immigration primary line and alleviate capacity issues, expediting more traditional processes.


Upgrading to Simplified Arrivals

As the APC Kiosks head towards their end of life, CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) has been tasked with both introducing and managing the roll out of new technologies in all federal inspection service (FIS) areas. It appears CBP will also now be responsible for the upkeep of this equipment, as opposed to the airports.

The new system is known as Simplified Arrival. The incoming system aims to streamline the arrivals process through sophisticated technologies, including smart queuing and biometric facial recognition. According to CBP, the new system will lead to:

  • Faster clearance process
  • Shorter connection times
  • Paperless travel environment
  • Standardized arrival procedures
  • No need for fingerprint collection from returning foreign visitors
  • Safer travel environment
  • Increased identity assurance that reduces the imposter threat
  • Decreased need for investment in new Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks


A looming problem?

CPB has already begun their roll out of the new system to airports. However, they are prioritizing the roll out to the busiest US airports currently using APC Kiosks, which may lead many other airports into ‘system limbo’.

Those who are higher up the list (yet not in the “top 20” list), may not want to invest in equipment that is soon to be obsolete. Those further down the list – who have little choice but to continue using the APC kiosks, will be more concerned about how long they will need to keep this older technology running, both in terms of spare parts and upgrades as well as continued access to skilled staff for repair and maintenance.

All of this may also lead to a boom in the second-hand market for APC kiosks, and a higher demand for parts, as APCs are removed from some airports yet kept in others for the foreseeable future.
Maintenance and servicing may also need to increase to ensure these older technologies continue to run effectively and efficiently.


Planning for the future use of APCs

If your airport is currently operating APC Kiosks and you are planning for their continued use, ServiceTec may be able to help. Our team experts – with over 30 years’ experience in delivering IT-specific services to airports – can help you navigate and manage your current and future use of these aging technologies.