Travelers flying out of Albany and Syracuse Hancock International Airports for the Thanksgiving holiday will come face-to-face with the latest new security enhancement at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints.
The new technology, which was installed earlier this month, confirms the validity of a traveler’s identification (ID) by matching the face on their ID with the face of the person standing at the travel document-checking podium.
Airport security checkpoints will be busier than ever this holiday travel season and the new technology will enhance security for holiday travelers who are flying out of Albany and Syracuse.
The new credential authentication technology units are equipped with cameras and match the individual’s face with the face that appears on the traveler’s ID such as the person’s license or passport. The technology enhances detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint. The photos are not saved and are only used to match the person standing at the travel document-checking podium with the photo on the ID that is being presented.
“These new units are valuable because they enhance detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent IDs such as driver’s licenses and passports at a checkpoint and it increases efficiency by automatically verifying a passenger’s identification,” said Bart R Johnson, TSA’s federal security director for Upstate New York.
“We are fortunate to have these units installed ahead of the busy holiday travel period. This helps ensure that we know who is boarding flights. The system also confirms the passenger’s flight status by verifying that the individual is ticketed to fly out of that airport on that day.”
As an additional feature, the unit is “self-service”, meaning that the passengers insert their ID and do not have to hand it to a TSA officer. Thus the units reduce touchpoints and speed the process. Travelers insert their ID, look at the camera and if the ID is validated, the traveler then proceeds into the checkpoint. Even with TSA’s use of these units, travelers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate to show the airline representative before boarding their flight.
Thanksgiving travel season began Friday, November 17, and concludes Tuesday, November 28. During the 12-day period, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers across the country. Historically, the three busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. TSA officials are expecting this to be the busiest Thanksgiving period in the agency’s history.
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