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News

SecureScreen provides biometric access control for US airline pilots

Priva Technologies : 19 September, 2008  (Application Story)
In coalition with the TSA, Priva implements biometric fingerprint access control system at BWI Thurgood Marshall airport for secure access control of pilots
Priva Technologies Chairman Jeff Minushkin has announced that the company has deployed its Cleared Security Platform at Baltimore's BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in a government-approved biometric airport access control security program. The program, called SecureScreen, is a joint effort of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Southwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), Coalition of Airline Pilots' Associations and Priva Technologies with support from BWI and the Maryland Aviation Administration.

"Government and industry have formed a powerful partnership that is at the cutting edge in moving to the next generation in aviation security," Minushkin says. "We are proud to be part of this important effort."

The SecureScreen program is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the US aviation security system by providing TSA with positive biometric identification of individuals entering the system. It will also help cut down on congestion at passenger screening points.

SWAPA pilots participating in SecureScreen undergo a quick enrolment process using the Cleared Security Platform, which stores their fingerprints, photograph, and other protected security information on a ClearedKey. The ClearedKey data can only be accessed by TSA at a security checkpoint, where the ClearedKey reader verifies the pilot's fingerprint and also provides an additional layer of security by showing the TSA agent the pilot's photograph. After positive identification, TSA clears the pilot to proceed into the secure area to report for flight duty.

"We fully expect to get a green light from TSA to expand the program. Our goal is to make the program permanent," says Carl Kuwitzky, President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association.

ClearedKey utilises the only commercially-available, biometrically-enabled microchip with the government's FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification. "This chip gives the Cleared Security Platform industrial strength protection against intrusion and misuse of enrolled individuals' credentials," says Priva's Charles Chambers, who recently joined the company from Airports Council International-North America where he was the association's security chief.

Alvy Dodson, a former TSA Federal Security Director who joined Priva as Executive Vice President of the company's Cleared Travel Corporation subsidiary is overseeing the SecureScreen program. Dodson says: "The Cleared Security Platform is a significant technological breakthrough that squarely addresses 9/11 Congressional mandates to integrate biometric identifiers into airport security access control systems."

Chambers adds that, "In addition to passenger and baggage screening, effective airport security must also deal with 'back door' issues. Priva's ClearedKey provides a powerful biometrically enabled tool for identity verification and access control for employees."
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