The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Billings International Airport (BIL) is now using new credential authentication technology (CAT) at the security checkpoint that confirms the validity of a traveler’s identification and their flight information in near real time.
When travelers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to insert or scan their photo identification themselves if a CAT unit is in use. With CAT, there is no need to provide a boarding pass to the TSA officer.
Through a secure internet connection, the CAT unit verifies that the individual is ticketed for travel that day and whether they are eligible for TSA PreCheck or general security screening. Travelers still need to check-in with their airline and show their boarding pass to the airline gate agent before boarding their flight.
CAT technology will enhance TSA’s detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents and those that have been tampered with. The units can authenticate several thousand types of identification including passports; state-issued driver licenses and identification cards; as well as U.S. and foreign passports.
Use of the CAT eliminates the need for a traveler to physically give their photo identification to the TSA officer.
TSA reminds travelers that it is critical that they have a REAL ID-compliant driver licenses or other acceptable form of identification by the October 1, 2021, REAL ID enforcement deadline. CAT units will not accept a state-issued driver license after that date if it is not REAL ID-compliant.