In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), began screening passengers over 20 years ago. Now the agency is modernizing its technology and expanding capacity.
- Darby LaJoye, executive assistant administrator for security operations at TSA, said the agency is “very close” to being able to screen people as they walk through airports, using biometrics, credential authentication technology (CAT) and computed tomography (CT) scanning.
- CAT machines, which validate identity at the beginning of the checkpoint, represent a sea change in technology compared to when TSA began, said LaJoye.
- Soon passengers will not have to scan boarding passes, only driver’s licenses, and next-generation CAT machines will enable facial recognition for enhanced security, he said.
- Advanced CT technology will allow officers to get a better view of the contents of bags during screening.
- The new technologies are already in use at some locations, and eventually all airports will have them, LaJoye said.
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