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Houston’s Willliam P Hobby Airport believes that wait times at its US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection checkpoints will be cut by nearly half after the introduction of facial comparison technology this Friday.

Hobby Airport will become the first gateway in Texas to have full biometric entry and exit for passengers travelling on international flights.

“Hobby Airport has taken a big leap into the future of travel,” enthuses Houston Airport System’s aviation director, Mario Diaz.

“We could not have reached this technological milestone without the help of our partners — CBP and Southwest Airlines. Simplified Arrivals will enhance the travel experience for the one million international passengers traveling through Hobby Airport every year.

“This is an important step to realize our goal of becoming a 5-star airport.”

The enhanced entry process complements the biometric exit process that CBP, Houston Airport System (HAS) and Southwest Airlines introduced in November 2018.

In 2017, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) was one of only three airports in the nation to deploy facial recognition technology when a pilot program for biometric exiting was launched.

“CBP is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the travel system is secure and efficient,” notes HAS’ director of field operations, Judson 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.”

Passengers who wish to opt out of the new biometric process may notify an officer as they approach the primary inspection point.

Thise that do 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 processed consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States.

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