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New biometric security card in force at Canada’s largest airports

CATSA has announced that the world's first dual biometric airport identification program is operational at Canada's 29 largest airports.


September 19, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has announced that the world's first dual biometric airport identification program is operational at Canada's 29 largest airports. The new Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) covers approximately 100,000 airport personnel who work in restricted areas of airports.

The RAIC integrates a small computer chip, including a microprocessor and memory, to store biometric data of fingerprint and iris templates. It confirms the identity of the cardholder through the card and biometric matching and ensures that the cardholder has a valid Transportation Security Clearance. The smart card is one component of a program that also comprises fingerprint and iris readers, and a network linking 29 airports to a secure central database.

Before the introduction of the RAIC, restricted area passes were validated manually by a guard at the entrance of the secure zone.