TSA Selects 8 Airports to Test Access Control Technologies


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has selected eight airports to participate in its Access Control Pilot Program that will test various access control technologies. Among the technologies that will be tested will be radio frequency identification (RFID), anti-piggybacking, advanced video surveillance and biometric technologies.

“This pilot program will test new technologies designed to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to non-passenger controlled areas,” says Rear Adm. David Stone, TSA acting administrator. “TSA believes that this cutting-edge technology will enhance the security of the aviation system and keep us one step ahead of those who seek to harm us.”

In October 2003, the TSA awarded a contract to Unisys to be the systems integrator for the pilot program, expected to last 20 months. The first eight airports constitute Phase I of the program. Based on the analysis of the first phase, the TSA will determine which technologies will be evaluated in the Phase II airports. Information gathered during the pilot projects will be made available to industry representatives so that they may make informed decisions when designing access control systems.

Among the airports participating in the study will be:

  • Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field Airport in Idaho, which will test a system that combines fingerprint biometric and RFID technology to control vehicle access.

  • Florida’s Miami Int’l Airport, which will test a new defense system that will incorporate intelligent video analysis and other technology to detect intruders at the airport’s perimeter.

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Int’l Airport, which will demonstrate a detection system using intelligent video analysis to differentiate between persons who are authorized and not authorized access to secured areas of the airport.

  • Newark Int’l Airport in New Jersey will test a system using fingerprint biometric technology to allow only authorized persons in secure areas of the airport.

  • Savannah Int’l Airport in Georgia will focus on intelligent video surveillance technology to allow only authorized personnel to operate a cargo elevator that provides access to secure areas of the airport.

  • Southwest Florida Int’l Airport in Ft. Myers, Fla., will evaluate new RFID and wireless fingerprint biometric technology intended to enhance the level of security at a vehicle gate.

  • Providence, R.I.’s T. F. Green State Airport will focus on controlling access to a secure area via an iris biometric recognition system. In addition, the entrance will employ anti-piggy backing detection, which stops more than one vehicle from gaining entrance at a time.

  • Florida’s Tampa Int’l Airport will test the viability of portable card readers and fingerprint recognition technology at a vehicle gate.

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