The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has confirmed it is set to begin an extensive refit procuring state-of-the-art Computed Tomography (CT) X-ray scanners to widely upgrade TSA checkpoints.
TSA is awarding $1.3 billion towards three separate refurbishment orders which if fully delivered will include installing 426 base, 359 mid-size, and 429 full-size units. This number of units includes the current provision of 59 CT units for $42.9 million which was deducted from Fiscal Year 2023 Funding.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske praised the sophistication of the technology helping TSA’s “professional, dedicated and highly skilled workforce detect new and evolving threats to improve aviation security” with 3D rotational images and algorithms. He continued: “Deploying these units across our security checkpoints as expeditiously as possible will also improve checkpoint efficiency and the passenger experience.”
In addition, TSA is modernising identity credential authentication technology that will be able to accurately detect fraudulent documents so they don’t pass through checkpoints under the radar using high-tech CAT-2 units.
In recent months, TSA has endeavoured to fully operationalise CAT-2 terminals, after announcing a deployment use study at Denver International Airport in November, which uses tried and effective comparison technology between the travellers’ photo credential on their passport and a real in-person facial image. The CAT-2 system then permits the traveller to proceed to security screening without having to present their boarding pass.
Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director, at Harrisburg International Airport said: “The technology enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and passports at a checkpoint and increases efficiency by automatically verifying passenger identification. The system will also confirm the passenger’s flight status in near real time through a secured connection”.
TSA has 2,000 CAT-2 units deployed at 220 airports worldwide that are capable of scanning more than 2.500 different types of security documents including passports, military ID cards, resident cards, U.S. visas, drivers’ licenses.