TSA to test new biometric fingerprint technology at two US airports


The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is set to assess new checkpoint screening technology at two TSA PreCheck lanes at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport.

Currently, the agency is carrying out a proof-of-concept demonstration to assess the operational and security impact of using biometric fingerprint technology to verify passengers at the two airports.

The biometric authentication process will allow a passenger’s fingerprints to serve both as a boarding pass and an identity proof.

TSA Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis acting assistant administrator Steve Karoly said: “TSA looks at technologies and intelligence capabilities that allow us to analyse and secure the travel environment, passengers and their property.

“Through these and other technology demonstrations, we are looking to reinvent and enhance security effectiveness to meet the evolving threat and ensure that passengers get to their destinations safely.”

"We are looking to reinvent and enhance security effectiveness to meet the evolving threat and ensure that passengers get to their destinations safely.” 

The new technology will match the fingerprints provided by travellers at the checkpoint to those they submitted on enrolment in the TSA PreCheck application programme.

Once the fingerprints match, the biometric technology will be able to obtain the passengers’ boarding pass information through Secure Flight.

The passengers who choose to use the biometric fingerprint technology will have to go through the standard ticket document checking process, which involves showing their boarding pass and identification document.

The technology is able to automate the travel document checking process by eliminating the need for a boarding pass and identity document, and grant or deny passenger access into the security checkpoint through an electronic gate.


Image: TSA’s new biometric fingerprint technology. Photo: courtesy of Transportation Security Administration.