efficiently through passport control
by virtue of the APCs and MPCs and
technologies, Global Entry. Great.
I think the airlines in our case are
doing a pretty good job on baggage
delivery. Most of our facilities are
legacy in that they precede the
formulation of CBP today, which is
a single entity. You had immigration
and customs, and so we have
facility challenges. So now this idea
that everybody exiting has to go
through yet another process, that’s
where the big backups are, and
that’s where we’re getting lots of
complaints. And so we were talking
about modified egress. How do we
introduce technologies in concert
with the CBP that provide seamless
travel through the facility?
NEWMAN: Jesus, You’re right there
with Global Entry. You’re right
there with APC. Who funded those
SAENZ: A lot of the funding came
from the airports as well. I think
our relationships with CBP, not only
at the local level, but at the national
level, were to ensure that we would
be at the cusp of the technologies
and be the first ones to be able to
try and pilot some of these efforts.
Our director, Mario Diaz, has
been acquiring many different
international entrants to Houston.
With all of that growth, we had to
make certain that our infrastructure
was prepared to handle all of
We recently opened the new
international facility at William
P. Hobby, which was, I think, the
first one since 1999 that had been
opened in the U.S., and when we
opened that, we worked closely
with CBP to ensure that we were on
the cusp of the latest technologies.
We’re a very metric-driven
organization, so we’re focused on
ensuring that our customers are
getting into the process and out of
the process as quick as possible,
not only for their benefit, but also
for the airlines’ benefit to be able to
make connections on time.
NEWMAN: I know, Brent, you all
have a pretty sizable international
operation at Charlotte as well.
How does this come into play
CAGLE: A couple of years ago, we
invested in APCs. We did that, as
others have said, at our expense.
We’re utilizing technology where we
think it’s appropriate to help speed
the passenger process, but as my
colleagues have said, the problem
now has moved from primary into
secondary. It pushes that mass of
people quicker through primary, but
there is still a problem in secondary.
NEWMAN: So these technological
innovations that we’ve been talking
about are great for U.S. citizens, but
it doesn’t do a whole lot for foreign
visitors. How do you think all this
helps indirectly the foreign visitor?
Does it help them at all?
SAENZ: Because U.S. citizens are
now going through Global Entry or
going through an APC, that provides
more time for officers to spend
with visitors as they’re entering
into the United States. So there’s a
little giveback in that, but until the
technology is there for all visitors,
it’s still impacting them, and they’re
not moving through as quickly as
the U.S. citizens are.
BROWNE: Actually, more and more
foreign visitors are qualifying for
Global Entry and some of these
other technologies. Right now,
over 90 percent of people coming
through our facilities are using
some kind of electronic touchpoint.
Some of these technologies will
become much more, dare I say,
global in their reach.
I do think that it allows the CBP
to use their resources a little bit
more focused and smartly, if you
will. We see, for instance, that a
fewer number of officers can process
folks exiting out of APCs, thereby
moving officers into other lines or
lanes that are dedicated for folks
that have to have a full interview
process. So I think it’s right-sizing.
I don’t believe that the line waits
for folks that are not able to avail
themselves of technologies is getting
longer necessarily. I think the rising
tide is affecting all boats.
NEWMAN: For the airport folks, has
your airport developed innovative
products or services to improve
the customer service experience at
MATHIEU: Last week, we read an
article — it was unexpected — that
in terms of Wi-Fi that we had the
best Wi-Fi in the world. So we’re
CEO Panel Debates
Current Airport Issues
continued from page 25
We’re a very metric-driven organization, so we’re
focused on ensuring that our customers are getting
into the process and out of the process as quick
as possible, not only for their benefit, but also for
the airlines’ benefit to be able to make connections
JESUS SAENZ JR.