The Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), is the management system of travelers’ biometric data. The Central Information Management System (CIMS), as it is known, was developed using technology from Daon, LG Iris Technology Division, and Motorola. CIMS is responsible for processing all records, interfacing with TSA for background checks, ensuring a chain of trust from vetted enrollments and issued credentials, and sending alerts to all service providers regarding revoked credentials.
Larry Zmuda, partner, Homeland Security, Unisys Federal Systems, says the company learned a lot from operating the first RT pilot program, including some performance metrics that it will apply to future operations — such as how fast passengers can be processed and how to scale the program nationally.
Unisys will be rolling out its RT program at Reno/Tahoe International Airport, expected to be operational by the end of January. Zmuda says there will be multiple enrollment locations at Reno, with two RT locations at the airport’s security checkpoints. Like other vendors at Reno/Tahoe, Unisys will lease space to operate at the airport.
Most of the participants in the registered traveler program, explains Zmuda, will be those that are flying multiple times each month. But, the cost is at a level that infrequent travelers will be able to afford it. Unisys’s fee is around $100, says Zmuda, which includes the $28 TSA fee. He expects that as more RT programs come on line in the coming months, there will be continued and greater interest in RT programs at more airports.
Verified Identity Pass began operating a pilot program, Clear Pass, at Orlando International Airport in June 2005 when passengers could first enroll; it became fully operational in July 2005 and Verified was the first private sector company to receive TSA approval as an RT vendor in November 2006. As of December 2006, the company reports that 35,000 members had enrolled in the program at MCO. In January, Verified rolled out programs at JFK’s Terminal 7, Indianapolis International and Cincinnati International airports. Additionally, Toronto Pearson International Airport has signed an agreement with Clear to operate an RT program.
Currently, the cost to enroll is $99.95 per year, which includes the $28 TSA fee. According to Verified Identity Pass, the Clear membership will be interoperable at any U.S. airport with a registered traveler program, regardless of the vendor.
At MCO, a Clear member presents his or her Clear card, along with boarding pass and government-issued photo ID and confirms his or her name with the attendant. Once at the kiosk, the Clear card is inserted into the reader and the member follows instructions to verify his or her biometric, either iris or finger scan. Once approved, the Clear attendant stamps the passenger’s boarding pass and he or she is directed to the designated lane for TSA security screening.
Verified Identify Pass estimates that at MCO, the non-RT passenger maximum wait time is 31:48, while the maximum RT wait time is 3:00. The company also estimates that the average non-RT wait time is 4:16, while the average RT wait time is four seconds.
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