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TSA deploys new technology for wait times, ID checks

The Transportation Security Administration is adding two more pieces of technology to its arsenal – one to alert passengers to waiting times for security lines, and another to verify travelers’ documents.

SITA, a leading provider of aviation-relation communications and technology, said that TSA plans to start using its “queue management system,” developed in partnership with a company called Bluelon.

“The solution uses Bluetooth technology to measure the passenger traffic patterns at TSA checkpoint lines…Communication with passengers will be improved as wait times will be displayed in real time on screens at each checkpoint,” SITA said.

The company noted that its anonymous monitoring technology “means that only traffic patterns and movements are analyzed, and individuals are not identified,” protecting passenger privacy. There was no word as to when the testing will start, or at which airports.

Meanwhile, TSA said it has started testing new fraudulent document detection technology that it announced several months ago. The initial testing is being done at Washington Dulles, with plans to expand it to Houston Bush Intercontinental and to San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico in the weeks ahead.

Known as CAT-BPSS – which stands for Credential Authentication Technology-Boarding Pass Scanning Systems – the technology comes from three different vendors. Each airport will get six units – two from each vendor – that TSA agents will use to scan a passenger’s boarding pass and photo ID.

The technology will “automatically verify the names provided on both documents match, and authenticate the boarding pass,” TSA said. It added that the system “also identifies altered or fraudulent photo IDs by analyzing and comparing security features embedded in the IDs.”

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