TSA enables mobile identity checks at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed a technology that enables airline passengers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to use their Apple Wallet or Apple Watch to verify their identity for airport security screening.

To use this feature, passengers must add their mobile driver’s license or mobile state ID to Apple Wallet and then tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the TSA’s credential authentication technology reader. The TSA security officer will then verify the passenger’s identity and flight status.

This technology was developed in collaboration with the State of Arizona and Apple in an effort to create a secure, fast, convenient and touchless identity verification experience. Initially, this capability will be available only at PHX for TSA PreCheck passengers with IDs issued by the State of Arizona.

As the encrypted identification data is transmitted digitally from the Apple Wallet, passengers will not need to show or hand over their device to a TSA officer. However, all passengers must continue to carry and have readily available their physical driver’s license or identification card, or other acceptable ID listed on the TSA website, as this physical ID may be required by the TSA officer to complete ID verification.

David Pekoske, TSA administrator, said, “This announcement marks a significant milestone in TSA’s efforts to improve airport security screening. As mobile device technologies continue to advance and become more secure, TSA is committed to leveraging those technologies wherever possible to enhance airport security, reduce touchpoints, provide greater privacy protections to individuals and facilitate greater accuracy in identity verification capabilities at TSA checkpoints. We expect PHX to be the first of many airports this year to feature this innovation as TSA continues to enable a more efficient checkpoint experience for passengers.”

“Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport welcomes this innovation,” said Chad Makovsky, director of aviation services at the airport. “It will make traveling through our airport even easier for millions of our customers. We are grateful to partner with industry thought-leaders who relentlessly pursue solutions that empower our passengers and improve their travel experience.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said, “Phoenix embraces innovation, and this new technology promises to improve passengers experience while ensuring vital security. We are proud to partner with Apple in being an early adopter of this modernization.”

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As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth brings research skills from her English degree to her keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her current role as Editorial Assistant, Elizabeth will create new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

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