US rejects Norway for airport preclearance

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Airline passengers traveling from Norway to the US won’t be able to benefit from a “preclearance” program that simplifies passport control into the US. Norwegian officials are still trying to arrange for it, but they’re foiled by the lack of US-based airlines flying routes from Oslo.

Newspaper Aftenposten reports that Avinor, Norway’s airport authority, still hopes that passport and customs control can be carried out before passengers board flights for the US. Preclearance in Oslo would help passengers avoid the often long border control lines at US airports.

US officials won’t send border control teams to overseas airports, however, that aren’t served by at least one US carrier. Only Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian Air offer routes to the US from Norway, after United Airlines withdrew from the market last year. United had taken over the route between OSL Gardermoen and Newark (New York) that formerly was run by Continental Airlines, which merged into United.

Jasper Spruit, director of traffic development for Avinor, told Aftenposten he still thinks another US carrier will launch service to Gardermoen. “Avinor is working all the time to attract new routes and new airlines,” he said. “We are also in dialogue with American carriers. We think an American airline will be at Oslo Lufthaven in the not-so-distant future.”

newsinenglish.no staff