The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US, has installed the next generation of credential authentication technology (CAT) at Denver International Airport (DEN) in Colorado, US to support the verification process of passengers.

The new CAT units, also known as CAT-2, feature a camera to capture a real-time photo of a passenger, which is an addition to its predecessor’s ability to scan a passenger’s photo identification, confirm the passenger’s identity and flight details.

TSA Colorado federal security director Larry Nau said: “Identity verification of every traveller prior to flying is a key step in the security screening process. TSA embraces the use of this type of technology to enhance security and increase the efficiency of our operation.

“We are grateful for our partners locally who have been key in bringing this capability to DEN and for the investment TSA made in the security operations at DEN.”

CAT-2 has been designed to compare the traveller’s photo on the identification credential with the in-person, real-time photo.

After the process is over, a TSA officer will verify and the passenger at the airport can move ahead towards the security screening area, without exchanging a boarding pass.

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However, a TSA officer can carry out further verification of a passenger if required.

The CAT-2 units at DEN also incorporate readers, enabling passengers to use state-issued digital driver licences or digital identification cards for TSA identity verification.

At present, five CAT-2 units with digital readers have been deployed at DEN’s North Security Checkpoint.

Besides, 21 first-generation CAT units are already in use at each of the three DEN security checkpoints.

TSA noted that the passengers who do not wish to opt for the facial matching process can go for an alternative identity verification. 

The agency added that it will integrate new technologies into its identity verification process going forward.