TSA deploys CAT and CT scanners at El Paso International Airport, US

17 December 2020 (Last Updated December 17th, 2020 12:00)

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed credential authentication technology (CAT) and computed tomography (CT) scanners at El Paso International Airport (ELP).

TSA deploys CAT and CT scanners at El Paso International Airport, US
As part of its ‘Stay Healthy. Stay Secure’ campaign, TSA is revising its procedures at airports across the US. Credit: TSA.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed credential authentication technology (CAT) and computed tomography (CT) scanners at El Paso International Airport (ELP).

CAT authenticates the validity of travellers’ identifications (IDs), along with their flight information, in near real-time.

At the travel document checking station, travellers will be required to hand over their ID to the security officer, who will confirm the authenticity of the document by inserting it in the CAT unit.

Instead of handing over their boarding passes, passengers will have to hold up their boarding pass to the security officer for visual inspection, consequently reducing a touchpoint.

However, passengers will still have to check-in with their airline in advance and must bring their boarding pass to their gate agent before boarding their flight.

CAT units are also capable of identifying fraudulent and tampered documents.

In addition, TSA is using two CT scanners at the security checkpoint to screen carry-on luggage.

The scanners, using 3-D X-ray technology, allow TSA officers to get a better view of the bag’s contents, eliminating the need to check a bag physically.

When the CT is in use, passengers can refrain from removing electronics, food or travel-size liquids from their carry-on luggage.

TSA federal security director Jared Babin said: “The technology now installed at the El Paso International Airport checkpoint enhances capabilities for identifying fraudulent ID such as driver’s licenses and passports at checkpoints and increases efficiency by automatically verifying passenger identification.

“The system has the added capability of confirming the passenger’s flight status in near real-time through a secured internet connection.”

CAT units are capable of authenticating several thousand types of IDs, including passports, permanent resident cards and US visas, driver’s licenses and photo IDs issued by state motor vehicle departments.

They can also validate military common access cards, uniformed services ID cards, retired military ID cards and Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveller ID cards.

The unit comprises a passport reader, ID card reader, Federal personal identity verification ID card reader, stand, monitor, and UV light.