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New preclearance services at Irish airports 'will make it easier to travel to US'

Dublin and Shannon are the only airports in Europe that offer US preclearance.

File photo of Dublin Airport
File photo of Dublin Airport
Image: Shutterstock/PaulGreenwood Photography

NEW PRECLEARANCE SERVICES at Dublin and Shannon airports will make it easier for passengers to travel to the US, the government has said.

Additional services at the airports, which were agreed by Ireland and the US earlier this year, have now come into effect.

The agreement also allows for the possibility of hiring extra employees.

US authorities will continue to fund “a baseline level of service”, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said today.

The preclearance system allows passengers of US-bound flights to clear all US controls before leaving Ireland.

Dublin and Shannon are currently the only airports in Europe that offer US preclearance. In 2018, 1.9 million passengers availed of the service at both airports.

Shannon Airport is also the only European airport with preclearance services for private aircraft.

Post-Brexit trade

Simon Coveney, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, have both welcomed the development.

“As a result of this agreement, not only will it be easier than ever to travel to the US, it will also help grow passenger numbers and help support jobs in Irish airports, as well as support important connectivity between Ireland and the US,” Coveney said today.

Ross said US preclearance is “a very valuable asset for Ireland, allowing people move more easily between Ireland and the USA”, adding that it is “a testament to the long and unique relationship between the two countries”.

A number of issues including merchandise compliance agreements, the designation of preclearance areas and new signage to be placed in preclearance areas are also provided for in the new agreement.

Given the scale of the Ireland-US trade relationship, a spokesperson for the DFAT said preclearance is “also a significant trade and business facilitator for the country as a whole”.

“It promotes the easy movement of people between Ireland and the United States, promoting reciprocal tourism and improving the economic, social, cultural and educational links.

“Connectivity to the US will be an important advantage for Ireland in the context of attracting post-Brexit investment,” they said in a statement.

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Órla Ryan

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