Technology is continuing to make traveling easier. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Denver International Airport (DEN) is now using the next generation of Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) to verify the identity of travelers.
The first-generation CAT units were designed to scan a traveler’s photo identification to confirm their identity and flight details. But the new CAT units, dubbed CAT-2, have those capabilities and more. They are equipped with a camera that captures a real-time photo of the traveler, the agency’s website stated.
The new unit then compares the traveler’s photo on their identification credential to their in-person, real-time photo. If there is a confirmed match, a TSA officer then double checks and allows the traveler to proceed to security screening without the exchange of a boarding pass. However, TSA officers can perform additional passenger verification if needed.
“Identity verification of every traveler prior to flying is a key step in the security screening process. TSA embraces the use of this type of technology to enhance security and increase the efficiency of our operation,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Colorado Larry Nau. “We are grateful for our partners locally who have been key in bringing this capability to DEN and for the investment TSA made in the security operations at DEN.”
The photos taken by CAT units aren’t stored or used for any other purpose than immediate identity verification. Travelers can choose not to participate and use another identity verification option.
As an added convenience, the CAT-2 units at DEN are equipped with readers that allow travelers to use state-issued digital driver licenses or digital identification cards for TSA identity verification purposes.