September 7, 2004 -- Unisys has chosen Axalto to provide smart identification cards to the Registered Traveler pilot program at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently awarded Unisys a contract to implement three of the program's five pilots. The pilots initially involve volunteer airline frequent flyers who, after undergoing a TSA-sponsored background check, will enjoy expedited security screening at their home airport.
At the Houston airport site, Axalto is supplying the smart identification cards that are encoded with travelers' biometric identifiers and read at the airport security checkpoints. Axalto will also deliver the software needed to interface these cards to the screening systems. The credential management system will capture and encode the biometric data -- fingerprints and iris patterns -- that will be used to authenticate and verify the status of the Registered Travelers.
Frequent flyer programs in the United States have approximately 20 million active members according to Frequent Flyer Services, a publisher of information on frequent flyer programs.
"TSA and the Department of Defense already employ Axalto's underlying technology, which has proven to be secure, fast and cost-effective," said Larry Zmuda, partner, Homeland Security Unisys U.S. Federal Government Group. Over the next six months, the TSA will test the Registered Traveler program at five airports using about 10,000 volunteer travelers. By agreeing to background checks and identity verification through fingerprint and iris scans, frequent flyers are permitted to go through a separate Registered Traveler line for primary screening and to bypass secondary security screening if their information is accurately verified.
"In today's new reality where individuals are required to confirm their identity with increasing frequency, smart card identity solutions enhance privacy protection, guard against identity theft and increase speed and convenience for card holders," added Paul Beverly, president, Axalto Americas.
Axalto (Euronext: NL0000400653 AXL) is the world's leading provider of microprocessor cards (Gartner Dataquest 2004) - -the key to digital networks -- and a major supplier of point-of-sale terminals. Its 4,500 employees come from 70 nationalities and serve customers in more than 100 countries, with worldwide sales reaching 3 billion smart cards to date. The company has 25 years' experience in smart card innovation and leads its industry in security technology and open systems.
Axalto continuously creates new generations of products for use in a variety of applications in the telecommunications, finance, retail, transport, entertainment, healthcare, personal identification, information technology and public sector markets. Microprocessor cards provide convenience, security and privacy to public and private services operators, their customers and end users.
For more info, please visit www.axalto.com.