Requirements Mean Increased Business for Passport Processors
By Triphenya Bailey
Less than six months
after the U.S. government began including destinations such as Canada, Mexico,
and the Caribbean in those destinations requiring a passport the rule was
temporarily suspended due to overwhelming requests for travel documents.
Also, all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda were required to present a valid passport when arriving at U.S. airports. The rules were relaxed on June 8 and will remain in effect until the end of September. Passengers with a government-issued identification with proof of application for a U.S. passport will be allowed to travel.
Andrew Moore, a manager at the Denied Boarding Desk at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said traffic has significantly picked up since the new passport requirements.
“At times, it has gotten a little crowded with new security measures put in place, but we have been managing it well,” said Moore. “We have competent people in place, and things have been running smoothly.”
Manuel de Barros, a protocol officer at Hartsfield-Jackson whose expertise is in international government relations, said the flood of passport applications is a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks in New York. “There is more control and strictness in standards (as it relates to obtaining passports to travel in and out the U.S. country),” de Barros said. “There is a difference now in the time it takes to get a passport.”
Florida air traveler Margaret Anderson was able to escape the latest passport application requirements and received her passport just in time to travel to Ireland last summer. “I had no problems with getting my passport, once I received my birth certificate,” said Anderson, a Savannah, Ga. native who lost her birth certificate years ago. “I guess I got the passport just in time (before the new passport requirements), because once I sent off what was needed (for the passport), the process didn’t take long.”
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.