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Monday, June 24, 2024

TSA Prepares for Record Summer Travel, Unveils New Tech at Buffalo Airport

New units feature a camera to match photo on the ID with the person presenting the ID

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is gearing up for unprecedented passenger volumes at airport security checkpoints nationwide during this summer’s travel season, which began this past Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day. On Friday, May 24, TSA set a new record for the busiest day in its 22-year history, screening 2,951,163 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide.

At Buffalo Niagara International Airport, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York, Bart R. Johnson, emphasized the agency’s readiness to handle the increased travel volumes. “We are coordinating with the airport, airlines, and other travel partners, and we are ready to handle this summer’s busy travel volumes,” said Johnson. He advised travelers to arrive at the airport early and noted the implementation of new credential authentication technology units at the checkpoint, encouraging travelers to follow TSA officers’ guidance.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport has recently deployed the latest generation of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) at its security checkpoints. This new technology confirms the validity of a traveler’s identification (ID) and verifies their flight information in real-time. The updated CAT units, known as CAT-2, not only scan a traveler’s photo ID but also capture a real-time photo of the traveler, comparing it to the photo on the ID. Once the match is confirmed, a TSA officer verifies the traveler, allowing them to proceed through the checkpoint without needing to exchange a boarding pass. The photos are then deleted.

The CAT-2 units are equipped with cameras on tablets and are used to match the face of the person standing at the checkpoint with the face that appears on the traveler’s ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. This technology enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint. “Identity verification of every traveler prior to flying is a key step in the security screening process,” said Johnson. “This technology enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent IDs and increases efficiency by automatically verifying a passenger’s identification.”

An additional feature of the CAT-2 units is their touchless operation. Passengers insert their ID into the unit, look at the camera, and if the ID is validated, they proceed through the checkpoint. This touchless process reduces touchpoints and speeds up the screening process. Despite the use of these units, travelers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate to show the airline representative before boarding their flight.

“This latest technology helps ensure that we know who is boarding flights,” Johnson added. “Credential authentication plays an important role in passenger identity verification. It improves a TSA officer’s ability to validate a traveler’s photo identification while also identifying any inconsistencies associated with fraudulent travel documents.”

The system also confirms the passenger’s flight status by verifying that the individual is ticketed to fly out of an airport on that same day. With these measures in place, TSA is committed to ensuring a safe and efficient travel experience for all passengers during this busy summer season.

author avatar
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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