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Travelling soon? RDU implements Mobile Passport Control

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There's now another way to take care of your customs declaration.

The Raleigh Durham International Airport Authority says RDU is now one of only 15 airports in the U.S. implementing Mobile Passport Control.

The free app makes it faster for US and Canadian citizens to get through customs once they arrive in the U.S., said Andrew Sawyer of the RDU Authority.

The service started at RDU Tuesday.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave ABC11 a rare tour of the Federal Inspection Facility where international passengers arrive to show how the technology works.

You download the free Mobile Passport Control for iPhones or Android phones. When you arrive at customs in the U.S., you use the special, shorter line designated for users of Mobile Passport Control. Instead of filling out a paper declaration form, you fill it out on the app. But this doesn't replace your passport. You still need to present your passport and interview with a representative.

Sawyer says the airport was able to get the technology because of its growth.

He says 800,000 people leave and depart RDU for nonstop international flights annually. That's 400 to 600 people every day.

"It put an extra strain on the physical officers that were here for the Customs and Border Protection and so it was a partnership between the airport and USCBP to look at ways that we could improve the passenger experience, cut those screening times and the technology was available so we were able to get that adopted here pretty quickly," said Sawyer.

Sawyer wouldn't comment about security concerns on camera but said the program has been vetted.

He says the airport also plans to add automated passport kiosks in the fall.

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