Each time you travel by plane, you and your baggage must first go through a long and tedious maze of checkpoints. The list of restrictions on what you are not allowed to carry on-board is extensive. Passengers often get bored and irritated with these safety routines, but they need to think about why these precautions were installed in the first place. The answer is simple, the tragic events of the past have triggered them.
After the recent hijackings and attacks, airport security has been enhanced with better screening and identification checks. This week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it has plans to expand the use of biometrics technology in airports. With the development of biometric technology, TSA could add facial recognition technology or fingerprints to the airport security lanes.
TSA Pre-check travelers may have already noticed the introduction of biometrics technology. In June 2017, TSA tested fingerprint technology at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Denver International Airport. Passengers’ fingerprints were matched with those provided to TSA under the TSA Pre-check enrollment.
Earlier this year at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), TSA tested facial recognition technology on international travelers. This technology uses facial images to match them with photographs in government databases like passports or visa applications. All passengers who enroll in TSA Pre-check or renew their membership must provide a photograph, which will be used by TSA to test facial biometric technology at certain airports.
By the end of October, TSA will launch the first biometric terminal that uses facial recognition technology at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A biometric terminal will integrate biometric technology in multiple aspects of the airline experience from the self-service bag drops to security verification, and even before boarding a plane. TSA hopes to increase security effectiveness and stay ahead of the threat. TSA constantly adjusts processes and procedures to meet the evolving threats and to achieve the highest levels of transportation security.
(TSA to Expand Biometrics Technology to Airport Security; www.travelpluse.com; ALEX TEMBLADOR; OCTOBER 16, 2018)
There isn’t anyone who flies on airplanes that isn’t concerned about airport and airplane safety. I fly a lot, both domestically and internationally, and personally support any airport safety measures used to keep me safe until I reach my destination. In airports you will see signs saying, “If You See Something, Say Something”. Please help in any way you can by reporting any suspicious activity to the nearest airport official. You may save someone’s life, maybe even your own!