Salt Lake International first airport with new TSA tech to speed up lines
SALT LAKE CITY — The TSA showed off the next generation of identity verification technology for travelers at Salt Lake City International Airport on Thursday.
The airport and Utah are ahead of the curve with this state-of-the-art system. There’s also an app Utahns can download before they fly to make the process even quicker.
The next time you fly, the TSA will verify that you are who you say you are in a different way. They’ve upgraded the technology for even better security and efficiency.
“It uses technology to supplement the job that our TSA officers have done manually for years,” said TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.
The SLC airport has already deployed the next generation of Credential Authentication Technology, known as CAT-2, to verify the identity of travelers.
When the TSA started, officers manually verified driver’s license photo IDs with boarding passes. Three years ago, they introduced first-generation CAT technology that scans a traveler’s photo ID and confirms their identity and their flight details.
The new units have the same capabilities, but also a camera that takes a real-time photo of the traveler. CAT-2 compares that photo with the traveler’s ID. A TSA officer verifies, and the traveler proceeds to security without ever exchanging a boarding pass.
“In doing so we’re ensuring that the traveler is who they say they are, and it also has the ability to pull up the flight information for that traveler, to assure that they are ticketed to travel this day,” Dankers said.
Salt Lake City is the first airport in the country to have CAT-2 units deployed throughout the security checkpoint. The CAT-2 units here also enable travelers to use mobile driver licenses or photo IDs for TSA identity verification purposes.
Utah residents can download the GET Mobile ID app on their phones to get a mobile version of their Utah driver’s license or photo identification card. That app can be used anywhere mobile driver’s license credentials are accepted including the security checkpoint at SLC.
Only three other states have made their licenses mobile, so far. “It’s so much easier,” Dankers said. “I think anybody could find their phone at any moment. But your wallet? Sometimes you’re looking for that in a variety of pockets or bags. So, by having it on the phone, it makes it more convenient for the traveler and of course more efficient for TSA.”
Utah launched its mobile driver’s licenses program in 2021, using an app created by GET Group.
The Utah Legislature set it up through a bill passed in 2019. It was created as a way to make contactless information transfers with enhanced privacy, while also adding the convenience of having it on a cellphone.
Utahns with a valid state driver’s license or identification card can register for a mobile license by taking a selfie and following registration instructions in the app. Once matched, the license can only be downloaded onto the person’s phone. The app is free for the first six months but then $1.99 per year after that.
You still need to have your physical ID and boarding pass available. The system randomly prompts the TSA officer to check for ID.
This process will speed up the lines, as long as people have downloaded the mobile license app ahead of time.
KSL 5 TV Live
- First temple in Virginia opens its doors to the public (pageviews: 15140)
- Utah man bit by shark while swimming in Hawaii (pageviews: 14902)
- Man in custody, accused of filming children in the bathroom of his business (pageviews: 14198)
- Important dates, rendering released for 3 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temples (pageviews: 9037)
- Utah will likely set historic snow record Friday (pageviews: 8110)
- 3 killed in head-on crash in Kane County (pageviews: 6625)