This new agreement will enable Dublin and Shannon Airports to provide additional staff for the provision of pre-clearance services and to invest in the physical infrastructure needed to develop these services. A basic level of services is covered by U.S. Customs and Border Services, with the costs of additional services being borne primarily by both airport authorities. The amounts to be paid and the terms of possible deviation from these amounts are set out in the agreement between the U.S. Customs and Border Services and each airport. This extension is not expected to impose costs on the public purse. The American anti-shower service has been essential for Irish travellers, as it shortens travel times and increases the comfort that allows Irish travellers to reach the United States. As the only European site to offer pre-authorization services, Ireland was a very attractive destination for airlines looking for additional routes between the EU and the US, as evidenced by the fact that last year 1.9 million passengers accessed US flights from Shannon and Dublin airports. As I said, Ireland is the only country in Europe to have two airports offering this service. This has the potential to enhance Dublin`s attractiveness, particularly as an international hub for transatlantic flights, and to create jobs and growth at Dublin and Shannon airports.
I would like to talk about the rights granted to passengers who use pre-clearing services in the United States. I am sure that the United States has the power to determine the right of any person to enter their territory. Any decision as to who is allowed to enter the United States is exclusively within the jurisdiction of U.S. officials. Eligibility is determined on the basis of U.S. immigration rules. Pre-clearance is not mandatory. Passengers who wish to benefit from the pre-declaration do so voluntarily and provided they recognize and accept the right of the United States to grant or deny prior reporting in accordance with their immigration rules.
Passengers reserve the right to withdraw from the pre-reporting procedure. Border checks at U.S. airports are also carried out by CBP, the same organization that handles passengers for pre-reporting in Ireland. Preclearance exists at most major Canadian airports, which theoretically allow for more comfortable travel from these cities to the United States. Wait times at some busy pre-clearance facilities, particularly at Toronto Pearson Airport , may exceed wait times for the processing of passengers on unauthorized flights to destination airports and cause significant delays in departure plans. With the notable exceptions of LaGuardia Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, many U.S. airports now have more customs facilities than when the early flight program was created in 1952. Airport authorities have experienced these delays in the downsizing of U.S. Customs and Border Guards, but arguments for increased personnel have been delayed due to national priorities. Nexus and other similar programs are now being explored and expanded to try to restore some of the original comfort for the preclearance process. The Ministry of Transport, Tourism and Sport believes that the agreement reached is the best possible outcome for airports and airlines, which have for some time expressed their willingness to end the costs of additional or improved services in the event of prior authorisation.
This will create security for CBP`s acquisition of pre-authorization facilities. This request is a welcome continuation of the pre-notification rules. It is to be very welcome. As I said, all these things come with price tags and reserves.