MONTREAL, Canada (CBC) - Canadians flying through Trudeau International Airport in Montreal no longer have to speak to a customs officer. The airport recently installed new automated kiosks to do the job.
Meet the newest border agents at Trudeau Airport. They scan your passport, read your customs declaration card and decide whether or not you are cleared to pass through customs.
Up until recently people were waiting up to 90 minutes in line. But after the 18 machines were installed earlier this month, things changed dramatically.
"People do not have to stand in line, waiting in line for too long, says Pierre-Paul Pharand with Aeroports de Montreal. "We've got a target, which is for people wait less than 20 minutes in peak times."
That's making some fans out of passengers.
"Less than 5 minutes, we have no check, just to pass your passport and your embarkment card," remarks one passenger
"They processed us very fast," says another. "I didn't wait long."
But some say quicker service isn't necessarily a good thing.
"We're eliminating the contact between our agents and the passengers," says Union President Jean-Pierre Fortin. "It's a security issue."
But the Canada Border Services Agency says with budget cuts, they can't afford to hire more agents. So these machines, paid for by the Airport Authority, are a great way to free up border officers for more important tasks.
"It increase our capacity to manage the risk," says Pierre Provost. "The first part of the process is automated, but the second part of this process is that all passengers will meet an officer for the verification of their documentation."
Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents can opt to use the kiosk and seem to be doing so, gladly.
"I think it's very useful, It's very fast, you don't have to wait in line."
This airport is now the second airport in the Canada to have the kiosks. They were first installed in Vancouver as a pilot project for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Now the Canada Border Services Agency says it hopes to one day see the kiosks in every major airport in Canada.