U.S. Customs and Border Protection will introduce biometric facial comparison technology at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport on February 20 to further secure and streamline international travel.
The enhanced entry process complements the biometric exit process that CBP, Houston Airport System and Southwest Airlines introduced in November 2018. William P. Hobby Airport is the first airport in Texas to have equipped all international departure gates with biometric facial comparison technology.
“CBP is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the travel system is secure and efficient,” said Houston Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock II. “The speed, accuracy and reliability of facial comparison technology enable CBP officers to confirm a traveler’s identity within seconds while further enhancing the customer experience.”
When international travelers arrive at the airport, they will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. CBP’s biometric facial matching service will compare the new photo of the traveler to images that the traveler previously provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos. If a traveler cannot be matched to a photo on record, the CBP officer will process the traveler manually.
Travelers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. Travelers who opt out of the new biometric process will be required to present a valid travel document for manual identity verification by a CBP officer and will be processed consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States.