Sixty people already have signed up for a Global Entry System account at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport in the first three days of the new center.
Global Entry is administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and affords expedited clearance to approved, low-risk passengers when they return from a vacation or business trip out of the country.
The center opened Wednesday and the formal launch of the service was Thursday.
“We’re actually the first center opening in Mississippi,” said Clay Williams, airport executive director. There is a center in New Orleans but not yet in Alabama.
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He described how travelers coming back into the country can bypass the long customs lines when they have been approved for Global Entry.
The application fee of $100 is good for five years, said Anthony Acrey, area port director for the Customs Department, and 120 new applications are filed through is department daily.
“It does allow passengers to get at the front of the line,” he said.
Applicants complete an application online and pay the fee. They must undergo an extensive background check, and are scheduled for an interview at the office on the second floor of the Gulfport airport, he said.
Children also can be enrolled in Rapid Entry if they travel out of the country with their family.
The application can be found at goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov