Over 615,000 people used Abu Dhabi airport’s US pre-clearance facility in 2015

The facility is the first of its kind in the Middle East, Asia and Africa

A total of 615,478 passengers used the United States pre-clearance facility at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2015, operator Abu Dhabi Airports has revealed.

The facility enables passengers to process their arrival documents before landing in the United States.

Among those who used the service, 106,851 started their journey from Abu Dhabi, while the remaining were transfer passengers who transited through the airport.

Operations at the US pre-clearance facility started in early 2014.

The service is available to passengers travelling to New York, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles on flights operated by Etihad Airways.

It allows them to complete immigration, customs and security clearance procedures for arrival to the US.

The facility is the first of its kind in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and one of the few worldwide.

Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Ali Majed Al Mansoori said: “We believe that the facility has brought important benefits to our passengers.”

Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed more than 23 million passengers last year, up 17.2 per cent compared to 2014.

Traffic between Abu Dhabi and the US rose by 39.4 per cent last year with the launch of several new direct Etihad services.