US border patrol officers unwelcome

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The Norwegian government has decided against allowing US border patrol officers to operate on Norwegian soil at the country’s gateway airport, OSL Gardermoen. The so-called “preclearance” project, which would clear travelers for entry into the US before departure, had been under negotiation since 2017.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on Thursday that the project could have made it easier for Norwegians and others without US citizenship or residence permission to travel to the US. OSL Gardermoen also could have become a more attractive departure airport.

Negotiations broke down last year, however, and the decision against allowing preclearance was made in 2019 but only made public now. Armed US border agents would have required their own portion of the airport, and the airlines would have had to cover the costs, estimated to amount to NOK 465 per person from Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen.

“It was unclear how much of that could be recouped through higher ticket prices,” Knut Morten Johansen of SAS told NRK. He said SAS was relieved that the government scrapped the plan, and a Norwegian Air spokesman also said the project became too expensive.

Norway’s transport ministry said Norwegian and American officials couldn’t agree on how the program would work or on a business model. US Embassy officials in Oslo did not respond to NRK’s requests for comment.

newsinenglish.no staff