TSA prepping smart card pilots

The Transportation Security Administration has neared the end of the planning phase for its smart card program and is finalizing a set of requirements for two pilot sites.

"We're optimistic that we're going to be able to move forward very, very soon on this program," said Chris Rhatigan, a spokeswoman for TSA.

The agency is preparing to launch pilot projects for its Transportation Worker Identification Credential system, which will provide employees at airports, ports, railways and other locations with secure access to buildings and systems.

The pilot projects will run in the Philadelphia/Wilmington, Del., and the Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., regions.

Following technical evaluation, TSA will conduct a prototype so agency officials can evaluate and refine the products.

Funding for the effort more than quadrupled to $127 million in the Bush administration's budget request for fiscal 2004.

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