Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Eppley Airfield in the US has deployed a credential authentication technology (CAT) unit that authenticates the validity of travellers’ identifications (IDs), along with their flight information, in near real time.

This technology will increase capabilities for detecting fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint.

TSA Nebraska federal security director Michael Fowler said: “The technology we’ve now installed at the Eppley Airfield checkpoint enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent ID such as driver’s licenses and passports at checkpoints and increases efficiency by automatically verifying passenger identification.

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

At the travel document checking station, passengers 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 scanner.

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

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The CAT unit will verify that the traveller is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day.

A boarding pass may be requested from passengers under the age of 18 and/or those with ID issues.

Furthermore, 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 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.

The units can also authenticate military common access cards, uniformed services ID cards, retired military ID cards and Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler ID cards.

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

Furthermore, passengers will have to submit their REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable forms of identification by the 1 October 2021 deadline. The CAT units will not accept a driver’s license after this deadline if it is not REAL ID-compliant.

Recently, TSA reported a severe drop in the total number of passengers screened throughout its airport security checkpoints in 2020.

In 2020, the agency screened nearly 324 million passengers, which is 39% of the approximately 824 million total passengers screened in 2019.