Over the past year there has been an expanded use of biometric passenger screening tools by private airlines, airports, and Department of Homeland Security agencies aimed at making the air travel process more secure and efficient. One of the latest is an effort by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate the use fingerprint scanners at the initial security checkpoint for TSA Pre-Check passengers. The initiative is being piloted in certain lanes for voluntarily participating passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Denver International Airport. If functioning as designed, the passenger’s fingerprint will bring up their boarding pass information, allowing them to proceed through security. Someday, the full process of a TSA Agent reviewing passengers’ documents could be fully automated via biometrics and largely unmanned.
CT Strategies Partner, and former Director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Targeting Programs, Andrew Farrelly, says “the new program is the latest of a series of steps aimed at understanding not only who is entering, but also who is leaving the country. Knowing who is leaving the country more accurately and in real time will help CBP, among other things, identify visa overstays and wanted criminals that are trying to flee.”
He is referring to the efforts by CBP to evaluate the use of biometrics in the international air travel environment. Facial recognition at the point of departure has been recognized as a tool that can allow CBP to match a traveler’s exit record to their initial entry record and thereby better track who is or is not still in the U.S. CBP has conducted evaluations at multiple large airports around the country and hopes to have a more formalized, widespread system in place in 2018. The agency is currently working with airlines and airports who believe facial recognition or fingerprint capture can speed up and secure multiple phases of the flying experience from bag-checking, to going through security, to boarding.
For further detail, read here Voyage Report.