Appleton International Airport gets new credential authentication technology to improve checkpoint screening capabilities

Local Press Release
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
A TSA officer checks a traveler’s ID with the credential authentication technology unit at Appleton International Airport. (TSA photo)

APPLETON, Wis. —  The Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Appleton International Airport (ATW) is now utilizing new state-of-the-art technology that confirms the validity of a traveler’s identification (ID) and confirms their flight information in near real time.

“This new technology installed at the Appleton International Airport checkpoint enhances capabilities for identifying fraudulent ID such as driver’s licenses and passports and increases our efficiency by automatically verifying the passenger’s identification,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “The system also provides a reduction in touchpoints during the pandemic for our passengers.”

Appleton CAT photo
A TSA officer prepares to read a traveler’s ID at a credential authentication technology unit at Appleton International Airport. (TSA photo)

Passengers will approach the travel document checking station at the checkpoint and listen to the instructions of the TSA Officer, who will request passengers to insert their personal identification into the scanner for authentication.

Passengers will not have to hand over their boarding pass (electronic or paper), thus reducing a touchpoint. Instead, they should have their boarding pass in possession in the event that the TSA Officer   requests visual inspection. The Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) unit will verify that the traveler is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day; however, a boarding pass may be requested for travelers under the age of 18 and/or those without IDs or have issues with damaged ID.

Even with TSA’s use of CAT, travelers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate and   show the airline representative prior to boarding their flight.

CAT units authenticate several thousand types of IDs including passports, military common access cards, retired military ID cards, Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler ID cards, uniformed services ID cards, permanent resident cards, U.S. visas and driver’s licenses and photo IDs issued by state motor vehicle departments.

A CAT unit consists of the passport reader, an ID card reader, a Federal personal identity verification ID card reader, a monitor, a stand and a UV light. 

In addition, it is critical that travelers have their REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or other acceptable form of identification by the Oct. 1, 2021, deadline. The CAT units will not accept a driver’s license after Oct. 1, 2021, if it is not REAL ID-compliant.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act and implementing regulations establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.