European pre-clearance in Aruba one step closer


ARUBA/SCHIPHOL–The realisation of pre-clearance immigration services for the European Union (EU) at Aruba’s Reina Beatrix Airport has come one step closer with the concluding of the first phase of the Happy Flow system. The results of the first phase of the “Road map EU Pre-clearance” were recently presented at the airport in the presence of officials of the Aruba Government, the Amsterdam Schiphol Group, Royal Dutch Airlines KLM and the Aruba Airport Authority (AAA).

  Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman stated that the process to set up European pre-clearance could now start. AAA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Fazio was very content with the completion of the two-year pilot project.

  “Two years ago, together with the Governments of Aruba and the Netherlands, the Schiphol Group, KLM and Vision Box, we launched a unique, innovative plan with an ambitious goal, which was to develop a smooth process for passengers with facial recognition whereby the passenger can go straight from check-in to the gate without having to show his passport again,” said Fazio.


  The airport chief said he was proud that after two years the pilot project was completed successfully. “The Aruba Happy Flow has proven its worth and that it is a flexible, safe, fast and effective system to check the access, manage people’s identity and to monitor the process from start to end,” Fazio said.

  Prime Minister Eman stated in a press release a few days after the presentation at the airport that Aruba was ready for the next phase: the implementation of pre-clearance for flights to the EU. He said he was convinced that Aruba would get this done.

  “We have completed the first phase where we introduced the technological facilities so Brussels can see that Aruba has sufficient high-level processes in place to guarantee security and that all checks-and-balances are in place,” Eman stated.

  The Prime Minister said that the existing pre-clearance for the United States of America at the Aruba airport has already shown that such a system has tremendous benefits. Especially passengers benefit because they no longer have to pass through Immigration and Customs upon arrival in the US. But also for the airlines which don’t have to pay the high clearance costs at US airports.

  According to Eman, that makes Aruba more attractive for US tourists and airlines. The idea is to now extend this to Europe. “My brother Henny Eman was the one who sought to establish the US pre-inspection in Aruba which later on became the pre-clearance. Naturally a good example needs to be continued. That is why in our first governing period we initiated the process for European pre-clearance,” he said.

  Among those present during the presentation of the project results were Aruba Ministers of Justice Arthur Dowers and Richard Arends of Economic Affairs, Schiphol Group CEO Jos Nijhuis, KLM Vice-president International Relations Rob Melchiot.

Source: The Daily Herald