A TSA officer at Bangor International Airport confirms a passenger’s ID with a new CAT machine. (TSA)

More U.S. Airports Get Credential Authentication and CT Technology

A new Computed Tomography (CT) checkpoint scanner that provides 3-D imaging and seven credential authentication technology (CAT) units have been installed and are in use at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

“Along with providing critical explosives detection capabilities, this new CT technology helps our TSA officers to determine whether an item inside a carry-on bag is a possible threat,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “Both the new scanners and the credential authentication technology units also reduce touchpoints at the checkpoint, which benefits both officers and passengers during this pandemic.”

TSA officers at Portland Jetport and Bangor International Airport are also now using the new technology that confirms the validity of a traveler’s identification. Two CAT units at Portland and one at Bangor are now in operation.

“We’re looking forward to using this technology. It’s going to enhance our detection capability for identifying fraudulent passenger identification at Portland and Bangor security checkpoints.,” said Bob Allison, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maine. “The system makes document checking more efficient and effective by confirming the passenger’s flight status in near real time.”

The CT systems apply sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside. The 3-D imagery allows TSA officers to manipulate the image on screen to get a better view of a bag’s contents and often clear items without having to open a carry-on bag.

For credential authentication, passengers approach the travel document checking station at the checkpoint and listen to the instructions of the TSA officer, who will request passengers to insert their personal identification into the CAT scanner for authentication. Passengers will not have to hand over their boarding pass (electronic or paper), thus reducing a touchpoint. Instead, they should have their boarding pass ready in the event that the TSA officer requests visual inspection. The CAT unit will verify that the traveler is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day; however, a boarding pass may be requested for travelers under the age of 18 and/or those without IDs or with damaged IDs.

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