US TSA deploys CAT at Atlantic City Airport security checkpoint

21 October 2020 (Last Updated October 21st, 2020 12:10)

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed new credential authentication technology (CAT) at the security checkpoint of Atlantic City International Airport to confirm traveller’s identification and flight information in near-real time.

US TSA deploys CAT at Atlantic City Airport security checkpoint
The new credential authentication technology (CAT) enhances detection capabilities at Atlantic City International. Credit: Transportation Security Administration.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed new credential authentication technology (CAT) at the security checkpoint of Atlantic City International Airport to confirm traveller’s identification and flight information in near-real time.

The CAT boosts the airport’s capabilities in identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoints. This in turn improves efficiency by automatically authenticating passenger identification.

TSA federal security director for New Jersey Thomas Carter said: “Through a secured connection, the credential authentication unit will also confirm the passenger’s flight status in near-real time, so a traveller doesn’t need to hand over their boarding pass to the TSA officer.”

One CAT unit can read a driver’s license that has been put into the unit and displays whether the license has expired or not.

Passengers have to hand over their ID to the TSA officer at the travel document checking station at the checkpoint.

The officer will insert the ID in the scanner for authentication. As passengers are not required to hand over their electronic or paper boarding pass, it cuts down a touchpoint.

The CAT unit will authenticate if the passenger has been pre-screened to travel that day. A boarding pass may be required if travellers are under the age of 18 or have ID issues.

Even after the use of CAT, passengers will have to check-in with their airline in advance and display their boarding pass to their gate agent before boarding.

CAT units verify several thousand types of IDs, including passports, military common access cards and retired military ID cards.

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

The units will only accept passengers’ REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or other acceptable forms of identification with the deadline of 1 October 2021.  The units will not accept a driver’s license after this deadline in case it is not REAL ID-compliant.

Meanwhile, TSA is deploying new acrylic barriers at security checkpoints in John F  Kennedy International Airport to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

These barriers are being deployed in areas where TSA officers usually interact with passengers such as at travel document checking podium, as well as in the divesting area where passengers prepare their carry-on property for X-ray screening.