Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) scanners have been tested and deployed at Boston Logan International Airport. TSA officers at several security checkpoint lanes operate the CAT scanners, which check the validity of a traveller’s identification and confirms their flight information in near real time. TSA has 25 CAT units in use at the airport. Additionally, TSA currently has six CAT units at Sacramento International Airport.
When a traveller hands the TSA officer their ID, the officer places it in the CAT unit, which scans the ID and informs the TSA officer whether the ID is valid. Travellers who approach the TSA travel document checking podium do not have to show their boarding pass because the CAT unit verifies that the traveller is pre-screened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day. However, travellers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate agent to show the airline representative before boarding their flight.
CAT units authenticate more than 2,500 different types of IDs. 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. Each unit costs approximately $27,000.
CAT units are portable and can be moved among checkpoints as needed.