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Press Release

TSA Announces Two More Airports Now In Access Control Pilot Program

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Contact:
TSA Press Office
(571) 227-2829

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Transportation Security Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rear Adm. David Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), today announced that two additional airports have been selected to participate in TSA's Access Control Pilot Program in addition to the eight airports selected in April.

The pilot program will test Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, anti-piggybacking technology, advanced video surveillance technology and various biometric technologies.

"With this test, TSA will be able to analyze and evaluate new technologies designed to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to non-passenger controlled areas," Stone said. "This cutting-edge technology will enhance the security of the aviation system and overall further address the unique security issues at each of the individual airports."

The two additional airports are Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose, Calif., and Helena (Mont.) Regional Airport. Below is a description of technology projects to monitor and control authorized access:

At San Jose, multiple technologies will be tested. They include Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and biometric technology to identify and track vehicles within the secure area.

At Helena, a vehicle tracking system using voice recognition, an optical character reader, and a video motion analysis technology to track a vehicle's authorized path in the secure area will be tested. Below is a description of technology projects at the eight airports announced in April 2004:·

  • Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field Airport is testing a system that combines fingerprint biometric and RFID technology.
  • Miami International Airport is testing a new perimeter defense system that will incorporate fiber optic fence netting, passive infra-red zone control, and intelligent video analysis.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is testing a barrier free intrusion detection system using Intelligent Video Analysis and Microwave Zone Control.
  • Newark International Airport is testing a system using fingerprint biometric technology.
  • Savannah International Airport is focusing on utilizing Intelligent Video Surveillance technology.
  • Southwest Florida International Airport is evaluating new RFID and wireless fingerprint biometric technology intended to enhance the level of security at a vehicle gate.
  • T.F. Green State Airport is focusing on controlling access to a secure area via an iris biometric recognition system. In addition, the entrance is employing anti-piggy backing detection using RFID technology.·
  • Tampa International Airport project is testing the viability of portable proximity card readers and fingerprint recognition technology.

TSA is conducting the pilot in two phases. Phase I will include the ten airports selected testing various off-the-shelf biometric technologies under a variety of real-world operational environments in an effort to provide unbiased evaluations of their suitability of use. TSA will use information obtained during Phase I to help determine which technologies will be evaluated in Phase II projects. Information gathered during these pilot projects will be made available to appropriate industry representatives so they may make informed decisions when designing access control systems to meet security needs and regulatory requirements.

In October 2003, TSA awarded a contract to Unisys to be the systems integrator for the pilot program. The contract has a maximum government obligation of $17 million over 20 months.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) mandated that the "Administrator shall establish pilot programs in no fewer than 20 airports to test and evaluate new and emerging technology for providing access control and other security protections for closed or secure areas of the airports. Such technology may include biometric or other technology that ensures only authorized access to secure areas."

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