October 26, 2017

Hirono Applauds TSA PreCheck Expansion to All Nippon Airways

Announcement follows successful Hirono effort to allow Japanese travelers to apply for PreCheck

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today hailed the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision to expand its PreCheck program to All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline. ANA operates three flights daily from Tokyo to Daniel K. Inouye Honolulu International Airport. TSA PreCheck allows pre-approved travelers to receive expedited security screening at U.S. airports without the need to remove shoes, laptops, certain liquids, belts or light jackets.

“Including All Nippon Airways in the TSA PreCheck program further strengthens our alliance with Japan and our ties to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Senator Hirono. “With a Global Entry pilot program now in place with Japan, approved travelers will now be able to expedite their TSA screening on ANA flights from Hawaii and across our country. I applaud TSA’s decision which will further expedite and simplify the process for Japanese visitors to Hawaii and better serve Hawaii’s largest international visitor market.”

The announcement comes after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a Global Entry pilot program with Japan following years of advocacy by Senator Hirono in August 2017. The pilot program allows up to 1,500 Japanese citizens as determined by the Government of Japan and CBP to apply for Global Entry. Travelers approved for the Global Entry program enjoy expedited screening on arrival in the United States and can use TSA PreCheck lines at 200 airports in the U.S. including Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Hilo and Lihue Airports.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, nearly 1.5 million Japanese citizens visited Hawaii in 2016 -- spending over $1 billion in the state’s economy and supporting over 26,000 jobs. The U.S. Commerce Department estimates nearly 3.6 million Japanese citizens visited the United States in 2016 and spent $16 billion, making Japan the fourth largest market for U.S. travel and tourism exports.  

Senator Hirono was an early advocate of Japan’s inclusion in Global Entry, leading a bipartisan letter in 2014 to encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to add the country to the Global Entry Program. She has also led similar efforts in support of India and Singapore’s inclusion in the Global Entry Program. Singapore and India’s inclusion was finalized in June 2016 and June 2017, respectively.