July 8, 2004


Industry Briefs

July 2004

TSA’s Registered Traveler Pilot Program Begins
The Transportation Security Admin-istration announces agreements with its partners for the Registered Traveler program. TSA will be launching the experiment in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with Northwest Airlines in June. Checkpoint operations are scheduled to begin in early July.

The program will be implemented at Los Angeles International Airport in late July, in coordination with United Airlines, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston) with Continental Airlines in early August. By the end of August, TSA plans to have the program active at Boston Logan International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports, both in concert with American Airlines.

Air carriers will seek participants in the program from frequent flyers who travel at least once a week in selected markets. Volunteers will provide to TSA information including name, address, phone, and date of birth, along with a biometric imprint including finger and iris. TSA will then perform a security assessment of each volunteer that will include analysis of law enforcement and intelligence data sources and a check of outstanding criminal warrants.

Once the program is operational at their home airports, volunteers will proceed to a Registered Traveler lane to provide their biometrics at the checkpoint. This will confirm their valid registrations and allow them to proceed to primary screening, while secondary screening will be largely eliminated;

Vehicle Security System Passes Muster With TSA
I.D. Systems, Inc., a developer of wireless asset tracking and management solutions, announces that its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system for vehicle security and fleet management, the Wireless Asset Net™, has passed a series of tests conducted by FAA and TSA at Newark International Airport. In a parallel development, the company was awarded a $250,000 funding increase for its current program with FAA and TSA.

To meet TSA’s objectives for monitoring vehicles that operate airside at commercial airports, I.D. Systems supplemented its core wireless vehicle management technology with advanced security capabilities.

FAA/TSA sought to demonstrate that the product would provide effective, reliable wireless communications in the radio frequency-rich airport environment; sufficient security features to prevent unauthorized access to Port Authority of NY and NJ vehicles; automatic operator log-off from vehicles; warnings when vehicles enter prohibited areas and remote shut down if necessary; emergency disabling of vehicle access; and more.

The Wireless Asset Net system will be deployed on a cross-section of vehicles at Newark Airport. In the system, vehicle-mounted microcomputers, VACs, will communicate bi-directionally with communication nodes called Gateways, positioned strategically around the airport;

Speeding Up Screening, Advanced Technology
Smiths Detection, a manufacturer of trace detection equipment, announces a partnership with TSA to improve passenger throughput at New Jersey’s Newark International Airport.

The pilot tests will determine if the speed of passenger screening can be significantly increased through the installation of easy-to-implement features. Such improvements would include the addition of new capabilities that would allow passenger carry-on bags that have cleared x-ray machine tunnels to continue unimpeded to their owners, while operators stop the conveyor belt to view an image.

Smiths Detection also announces a partnership with TeraView, a proprietary technology and development company. The two plan to develop a next-generation hand-held security wand that utilizes terahertz light waves to detect and identify metallic and non-metallic weapons, as well as bulk and sheet explosives that are concealed beneath clothing, inside shoes, or in other objects.

Terahertz light, which lies between microwave and infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum, passes through clothing, paper, and plastics to detect metal, ceramic, or plastic weapons. It allows substances such as explosives to be identified from their characteristic spectral “fingerprints.” Terahertz technology has the potential to overcome limitations of security screening techniques that use ionizing radiation, raising safety concerns if used on people.

The new wand will be designed to improve security over hand-held metal detectors by reducing the number of false alarms that lead to invasive manual searches; or