80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, America’s airports mean business – facilitating international trade and tourism that are critical to this nation’s economy; and

WHEREAS, the United States exported more than $2.1 trillion in goods and services in 2011, supporting 9.7 million American jobs; and

WHEREAS, more than 60 million international tourists visited the United States in 2011 spending $153 billion, providing employment for 7.6 million Americans, and $1.2 trillion in economic activity; and

WHEREAS, our government and business community have launched “Brand USA,” a new tourism marketing entity that aims to increase the number of foreign visitors by encouraging them to visit the United States; and

WHEREAS, the United States Government has committed significant resources to expediting and improving the issuance of visas to increase the number of international tourists and businesspeople who can visit our country; and

WHEREAS, in the summer of 2011 our nation’s largest international airports were confronted with long lines and wait times at its international entry points, caused by reduced funding due to the global financial downturn that, in turn, lead to reduced airport staffing by federal government agencies; and

WHEREAS, our nation’s airports are working to accommodate international tourists and business people by constructing, modernizing and/or expanding the facilities used by the United States Government for processing visitors and providing airport staff to answer questions and assist passengers waiting for entry into the United States; and

WHEREAS, since the summer of 2011, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has made significant progress in reducing wait times by increasing the amount of staff at international airports and improving deployment models;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the Federal government to further address these issues by:

  • Investing additional resources in staffing for the CBP and the other agencies involved in international entry at airports

  • Developing performance standards to be followed by federal agencies involved in the processing of international visitors to ensure sufficient staffing has been provided to process visitors within 30 minutes

  • Providing reports on daily wait times logged in 30 and 60 minute metrics.

  • Negotiating International Reciprocity Agreements to increase the number of nations participating in the Global Entry Program which expedites the processing of visitors who register for the program

  • Instituting a pilot program to allow an easier process for in-transit passengers using United States airports to connect on international-to-international flights

  • Requiring the CBP to install a minimum of 10 Global Entry kiosks at all large hub airports processing international flights.