The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it started using a new credential authentication technology (CAT) at Billings International Airport (BIL) in Montana, US.

This new technology is designed to enhance checkpoint screening capabilities by confirming the validity of a passenger’s identification (ID), flight information, and flight status in near real-time.

The technology is said to minimise touchpoints by eliminating the need for travellers to hand over their electronic or physical boarding pass at the security checkpoint.

However, they are required to submit their ID to the TSA officer, who will insert it to the CAT unit for authentication.

The implementation of CAT units is expected to help TSA better identify fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint.

In a press statement, TSA said: “Use of the CAT eliminates the need for a traveller to physically give their photo identification to the TSA officer.

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“It is critical that travellers 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.”

A CAT unit, which is designed to verify different types of IDs, features a passport reader, an ID card reader, a federal personal identity verification ID card reader, a monitor, a stand and an ultraviolet light.

TSA noted that Billings International Airport is the only airport currently using CAT in Montana.

Recently, TSA started using a credential authentication technology at Albany International Airport.