Honolulu Airport introduces biometric exit

Honolulu airport has introduced biometric exit checks for all international passengers.

Hawaii’s largest airport now has 54 ‘face pods’ with high definition cameras across Terminals 1 and 2 which are available to all international passengers. 

The touchless process uses facial recognition to verify a passenger’ s identity as they leave the U.S. and is available to all international airlines.

The system fulfils the congressional mandate for biometric passenger screening on exit from the U.S.

The airport started using Simplified Arrival with facial biometrics for arriving passengers in 2021.

Honolulu is the largest airport in Hawaii, serving 21 airlines and over 18 million departing passengers annually. 

How it works

The biometric exit system is from SITA and NEC [Image: SITA]

At the boarding gate, the passenger steps up to a high definition camera that takes their live picture.

The system compares the live photo to images the passenger has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos.

If a passenger cannot be matched to a photo on record through Biometric Exit or chooses to opt out of the process, they will proceed through the traditional inspection process consistent with existing requirements for departure from the U.S.


The system is provided by industry giant SITA. Called Smart Path, it is powered by NEC’s biometric face capture solution.

SITA’s biometric exit system is already in use at Miami, Orlando, and San Francisco airports and has a proven 99.5% match rate.

Matthys Serfontein, SITA President for the Americas:

“We have worked closely with the Hawaii Department of Transportation to support CBP’s mandate for biometric screening on exit. We are confident that SITA’s US Exit will greatly enhance the passenger experience at HNL while laying the foundation for an extended biometric passenger experience in the future.”

Edwin Sniffen, Director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation:

“This solution will help us support CBP’s congressional mandate while making the experience fast and efficient for our customers.”

Internet links

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)

SITA Smart Path

NEC Biometrics