The US’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has started to use credential authentication technology (CAT) at Baltimore/Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport.

This technology is used to authenticate the identity of travellers and confirm their flight information. There are 14 new CAT units at the airport.

TSA federal security director for Maryland Andrea R Mishoe said: “The credential authentication technology (CAT) units improve upon TSA’s capabilities to detect fraudulent ID such as driver’s licences and passports at checkpoints and increases efficiency by automatically verifying passenger identification.

“The CAT system is able to confirm a passenger’s flight status in near real-time, adding to the efficiency of the process.”

The CAT unit will scan the traveller’s ID, which will then inform the officer of the validity of the ID. As the passenger inserts the ID, there is a reduced chance of spreading Covid-19.

The unit also checks if the traveller has been pre-screened by the airline agent, meaning that passengers will not have to show their flight boarding passes again.

Passengers under the age of 18 and with ID issues may have to produce their boarding passes to the officer.

The technology is aimed at boosting the security personnel’s capabilities to identify fake documents at the security area.

Passengers will have to check-in with the airline and carry the boarding pass to be shown to the airline agent before flight boarding.

The CAT units can verify different types of ID, including passports, military common access cards and retired military ID cards.

Each CAT unit features an ID card reader, passport reader and a federal personal identity verification ID card reader, as well as a monitor, stand and UV light.

The CAT units are deployed at many airports in the US, including Tampa International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport.