Airports picked for access test

The Transportation Security Administration has chosen eight airports for a pilot program to test ways to keep unauthorized employees from accessing official areas.

Each of the eight airports will try out a different method, including:

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Advanced video surveillance technology.

Biometric technologies.

Anti-piggybacking technology, which prevents more than one vehicle from passing through a gate at a time.

The airports selected are: Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field Airport, Boise, Idaho; Miami International Airport, Miami, Fla., Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Newark International Airport, Savannah International Airport; Southwest Florida International Airport, T. F. Green State Airport, and Tampa International Airport.

TSA developed a two-part pilot. In the first phase, the eight airports will test off-the-shelf biometric technologies in real-world operations. Officials will then choose technologies to be tested in Phase II airports. The results will go to certain companies involved in access control so their designs can reflect security and regulatory requirements.

Unisys Corp. is the pilot's systems integrator. The contract has a maximum value of $17 million over 20 months.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act mandated that pilot programs be established in at least 20 airports to test technologies for access control and other security for closed and secure areas.

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