Baltimore: A biometric security platform is being tested jointly by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and Southwest Airlines at Baltimore's BWI Thrugood Marshall Airport.
This was announced by Priva Technologies, Inc. chairman Jeff Minushkin, the company which has deployed its Cleared® Security Platform as part of the government-approved biometric airport access control security program.
The program is called SecureScreen, and is a joint effort of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Southwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), Coalition of Airline Pilots' Associations and Priva Technologies with support from BWI and the Maryland Aviation Administration.
The program is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the US aviation security system by providing TSA with positive biometric identification of individuals entering the system.
It will also help cut down on congestion at passenger screening points.
SWAPA pilots participating in SecureScreen undergo a quick enrollment process using the Cleared Security Platform, which stores their fingerprints, photograph, and other protected security information. The ClearedKey data can only be accessed by TSA at a security checkpoint, where the ClearedKey reader verifies the pilot's fingerprint and also provides an additional layer of security by showing the TSA agent the pilot's photograph.
After positive identification, TSA clears the pilot to proceed into the secure area to report for flight duty.
''We fully expect to get a green light from TSA to expand the program. Our goal is to make the program permanent,'' says Carl Kuwitzky, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association.
ClearedKey utilizes the only commercially-available, biometrically-enabled microchip with the government's FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification.
''This chip gives the Cleared Security Platform industrial strength protection against intrusion and misuse of enrolled individuals' credentials,'' says Priva's Charles Chambers, who recently joined the company from Airports Council International-North America where he was the association's security chief.
Alvy Dodson, a former TSA Federal Security Director who joined Priva as Executive Vice President of the company's Cleared Travel Corporation subsidiary is overseeing the SecureScreen program.
Dodson says: ''The Cleared Security Platform is a significant technological breakthrough that squarely addresses 9/11 Congressional mandates to integrate biometric identifiers into airport security access control systems.''