The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, has deployed a credential authentication technology (CAT) unit at its checkpoint in MBS International Airport (MBS), Michigan, US.

Passengers need to go to the document checking station at the checkpoint and insert their personal identification into the scanner to authenticate themselves.

It enables passengers to avoid handing over their boarding passes. They have to show the pass only when a TSA officer calls for visual scrutiny.

Later, verification will be carried out by the CAT unit on whether the passenger is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day.

Passengers below 18 years of age or those without IDs or with damaged IDs may be asked to produce a boarding pass.

The technology is expected to help improve detection capabilities to detect fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint.

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CAT units can authenticate various types of IDs such as passports, military common access cards, retired military ID cards, and Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler ID cards.

They can also authenticate uniformed services ID cards, permanent resident cards, US visas, and driver’s licences, as well as photo IDs issued by state motor vehicle departments.

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

Michigan TSA federal security director Steve Lorincz said: “The new credential authentication technology unit enhances our detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent ID documents and improves the passenger’s experience by increasing efficiency during the checkpoint experience.

“The CAT unit also reduces touchpoints at the checkpoint, which benefits both officers and travellers during this pandemic.”