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Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Deployment of self-serve credential authentication tech at BWI Airport allows near real-time ID confirmation


In a move that may speed up processing, 36 credential authentication technology (CAT) units have now been deployed to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI)/Thurgood Marshall Airport.

At the least, it has increased screening capabilities. These CAT units feature a camera capable of matching photos on presented IDs to the potential traveler. They can also confirm flight information in near real-time, all without needing a TSA officer on hand. Self-service is a major feature of the units, speeding the process and reducing bottlenecks, so long as travelers are clear and they have checked in with their airline in advance while bringing their boarding pass to the gate.

“This technology is valuable because it enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent IDs such as driver’s licenses and passports at a checkpoint, and it increases efficiency by automatically verifying a passenger’s identification,” Christopher Murgia, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maryland, said. “This helps ensure that we know who is boarding flights. The system also confirms the passenger’s flight status by verifying that the individual is ticketed to fly out of that airport on that day.”

Addressing personal information concerns, though, the TSA noted that no photos taken of travelers or their IDs are saved to the corresponding systems. Instead, they are used to match the traveler at the travel document checking station to the photo on the ID and removed. To do so, CAT units pull from a library of more than 2,500 different types of IDs programmed into it, from passports to retired military IDs, visas, and driver’s licenses.