This has been an emotional month for many of the people that fly out of the Ogden Airport. Particularly with the airplane crash on July 26th which took the lives of four local residents. Although it will take over a year to determine the cause of the crash, the facts remain that sometimes air travel can have disastrous results. Statistically it is still the safest means of overall transportation and to that fact there can be some solace.

In recent blogs, we have talked about some of the innovative methods being tried at large airports to help you, the customer of the airline industry, to travel and minimize your TSA experience. We have talked about biometric experiments in the past, facial recognition, and so briefly I will explain another biometric experiment currently being tried out at two large airports.

In a recent news release, August 17th, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has partnered with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate new identity verification technology that can speed up the processing time for travelers to pass through security.

There has been for some time a TSA Precheck system wherein you register with a TSA office, provide pertinent information about yourself, pay a fee and become a TSA Precheck Member.

Now by being a TSA Precheck Member and registering your fingerprints you will potentially have another way to travel in the system. A new touch-free scanners allows travelers to use their fingerprints as their boarding pass and identity document. Once the scanner matches fingerprints to those stored on the TSA Precheck system, it obtains the traveler’s boarding pass information and grants them access to their gate.

Tests are currently being conducted in select TSA Precheck lanes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Denver International Airport, which were selected based on the expertise of local TSA teams, diverse passenger demographics, and the ability to integrate the technology without negatively affecting airport operations.

This is just one of the many ideas or proof of concept testing that is a part of an ongoing effort to see whether biometrics can eventually replace boarding passes to yield faster, more secure passenger screening.