South Bend International Airport installs CAT units at TSA checkpoint

Posted: 10 December 2020 | | No comments yet

The installation of the CAT unit at the security checkpoint will enhance TSA’s detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents, as well as reduce a touchpoint at security, helping to limit the spread of COVID-19.

South Bend International Airport installs CAT units at TSA checkpoint

Credit: Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at South Bend International Airport (SBN) is now using new technology at its security checkpoint that confirms the validity of a traveller’s identification and confirms their flight information in near real-time.

When travellers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to insert or scan their photo identification themselves if a CAT unit is in use. With CAT, there is no need to provide a boarding pass to the TSA officer.

Through a secure internet connection, the CAT unit verifies that the individual is ticketed for travel that day and whether or not they are eligible for TSA PreCheck™ or general security screening. Travellers still need to check-in with their airline and show their boarding pass to the airline gate agent before boarding their flight.

This technology will enhance TSA’s detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents and those that have been tampered with. CAT units can authenticate several thousand types of identification, including passports, state-issued driver licenses and identification cards, as well as U.S. and foreign passports.

Use of the CAT unit eliminates the need for a traveller to physically give their photo identification to the TSA officer. This self-service opportunity reduces a touchpoint at the security checkpoint, helping travellers to ‘Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.’ during the spread of coronavirus.

It is critical that travellers have a REAL ID-compliant driver license or other acceptable form of identification by 1 October 2021, which is the REAL ID enforcement deadline. CAT units will not accept a state-issued driver license after that date if it is not REAL ID-compliant.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The act and implementing regulations establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and prohibits federal agencies, including TSA, from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.

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