LINTHICUM — A new service promises to speed some travelers’ trips through security at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
A New York-based company called CLEAR plans to open kiosks at the airport next week that will be integrated into the Transportation Security Administration’s existing Pre-Check system. At the kiosks, travelers can have their identities verified with iris or fingerprint scans and then skip long security lines to proceed to TSA screening.
“The average time is 5 minutes or under. That’s really what we guarantee is that speed and predictability,” said Charmaine Taylor, CLEAR’s senior vice president of operations.
A traveler’s fingerprint or iris is matched to his or her driver’s license or passport and verifies the match when the traveler enrolls using technology similar to what TSA uses, Taylor said. The information is then encrypted.
“Today, we don’t do background checks, we don’t assess the risk or anything like that. All we are doing is verifying who you say you are,” Taylor said.
The company said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has certified it as a “Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology.” It has already been used 2 million times by travelers in airports across the country.
The airport is the first in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and the 11th nationwide to be added to the company’s network. The service provides travelers with “another security option and enhancement” at the airport, said BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean.
The service costs $15 a month per passenger and a spouse or partner can be added for $50 a year. Those under 18 years old are free.