April 25, 2009

U.S. Preclearance at Halifax International Airport

I flew home from Halifax to Boston yesterday morning...using the U.S. Preclearance facility. It made it much easier to travel when I went through U.S. customs in Halifax and my flight arrived as a domestic flight in Boston. Good thing I came here after the arrangement was made. Here's the information:

August 30, 2006

Halifax International Airport to open U.S. Preclearance facility October 4, 2006
More convenient travel, easier connections for non-stop U.S. bound passengers

Halifax, N.S. - Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) announced today that it will open its new U.S. Preclearance facility on Wednesday, October 4, 2006.

“U.S. Preclearance means a new world of convenience and growth opportunities,” said Eleanor Humphries, President & CEO of HIAA. “Non-stop passengers to U.S. destinations will be processed through U.S. Customs and Border Protection prior to their departure. This enables travelers to be treated as domestic passengers on arrival in the U.S. – to enjoy easier, more convenient connections.”

“U.S. Preclearance will also allow Halifax International to market and promote U.S. destinations that do not currently have customs facilities – as evidenced by yesterday’s announcement by American Airlines of their new daily round-trip flight between Halifax International and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, starting in December,” added Ms. Humphries.

The new facility is located in the north end of the Halifax International Airport’s Robert L. Stanfield terminal building. It is, in effect, a “terminal within the terminal”. Passengers will ascend twin escalators in the north end of the terminal, present their tickets, check their baggage, go through pre-board security screening, then proceed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Once cleared there, they will proceed to a dedicated departures area. From there, it’s onto their aircraft and off on their non-stop flight to a U.S. destination, arriving as a domestic passenger.

It was so big for Nova Scotia that the Premier's Office issued a press release:

Premier's Office
December 17, 2004 11:50 AM

Customs pre-clearance means the skies figuratively opened today
for the Halifax International Airport Authority. Today, Dec. 17,
federal officials announced the approval of a pre-clearance
facility at Halifax. Premier John Hamm and Mayor Peter Kelly
liked what they saw.

"This is great news for Nova Scotia," said Premier Hamm. "With a
U.S. Customs and Immigration pre-clearance facility at the
airport, it makes it easier to do business and travel between the
United States and Nova Scotia. This move will help our
businesses, and help our major airport."

Premier Hamm congratulated the Halifax International Airport
Authority for its successful lobbying effort, and he thanked
provincial and municipal officials, as well as U.S. Ambassador
Paul Cellucci and Consul General Leonard Hill, for their efforts
in bringing the issue to the attention of the American and
Canadian governments.

"A lot of hard work went into today's announcement, and I wanted
to congratulate staff inside the Halifax International Airport
Authority and inside government," said the premier.

"HRM has been a staunch supporter of efforts to obtain pre-
clearance approval for the past five years and we extend our
sincere congratulations to the Halifax International Airport
Authority team and others for their tenacity and commitment,"
said Mayor Peter Kelly. "Pre-clearance into the United States now
puts Halifax on a level playing field with other major airports
in Canada and further enhances our competitive position in the
air traveller marketplace."

Halifax International Airport is the last major Canadian airport
to receive U.S. Customs and Immigration pre-clearance.

Pre-clearance allows passengers on trans-border flights to clear
U.S. customs at Halifax airport, facilitating shorter beyond
connections at American hub airports and service to U.S. airports
without federal inspection facilities.


The long wait is over at the Halifax International


It was announced today (December 17th) that customs pre-

clearance is finally coming to the Halifax airport, a move

welcomed by Premier John Hamm.

Premier Hamm says pre-clearance will allow passengers to

clear U-S customs in Halifax, making it easier for Nova Scotians

to do business and travel between the United States and the


The premier says pre-clearance should help Nova Scotia's

businesses and the province's major airport.

Mayor Peter Kelly says pre-clearance puts Halifax on a level

playing field with other Canadian airports and enhances the

province's competitive position in the air traveller marketplace.


  1. Yeah, I use it often. I find it's usually faster to go through pre-clearance security screening than domestic, say, half as long. I've been around the world and honestly I think YHZ is one of the best. Only thing I'd add would be a Starbucks in the U.S. secure area (I'd settle for Starbucks served at the bar).

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