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Nexus checkpoint launched at Kelowna airport

Just flashing a NEXUS ID card at Kelowna's airport will give flyers a chance to skip the queue and feel like VIPs.

NEXUS checkpoints—a joint Canada Border Services Agency/U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that expedites the border clearance process for pre-approved, low-risk travellers—were launched at medium sized airports like Kelowna's  this week.

"This keeps YLW among Canada's leading travel spots," said Kelowna mayor Walter Gray.

It's a notable distinction for the airport, he explained, considering that Kelowna is the 22nd largest travel market, but the airport is the ninth (or tenth depending on the month) busiest in the country.

Kelowna Lake Country MP Ron Cannan explained NEXUS is a benefit to frequent flyers, and something he's wished for in the past, when he's been stalled in lines and watching others zip through at a rapid pace.

While local flyers will be able to use the NEXUS checkpoint once they get the card, they won't be able to get the card locally.

Applications papers can be picked from the web, but it's a rigorous process to get approval that includes a retina scan and being interviewed by CATSA members at a major airport.

Also, the NEXUS card isn't free. It costs $50 for a five-year period.

These screening procedures will enable the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority  to reduce wait times for travellers by using practices already established in Canada's larger airports.

For more information on CATSA, visit www.catsa.gc.ca. To apply for NEXUS, visit www.nexus.gc.ca.

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