Access control goes beyond biometrics for pilots

An airport security program under test at BWI Thurgood Marshall International shows the need for stronger identity verification technology, says Paul Onorato, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA).

"Positive identification of anyone with access to the cockpit is essential and that's why CAPA is pleased with the success, thus far, of the BWI SecureScreen program." SecureScreen is a joint effort of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Southwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association(SWAPA), CAPA and Priva Technologies with support from BWI and the Maryland Aviation Administration.

Priva's Cleared ID authentication technology is at the heart of the SecureScreen system. It utilizes a security platform that was developed by Priva specifically for access control and employs biometrics. But the platform goes beyond biometrics by creating an integrated 'trust system' specifically designed to enhance security, maintain privacy and protect against systemic fraud and intrusion. Priva believes reliance solely on biometric identification can actually weaken security instead of strengthening it, saying there is a lot of literature about how off-the-shelf biometric systems do not provide sufficient proof of an individual's identity and how they can be spoofed. The first participants in the SecureScreen program are 200 Southwest Airlines pilots.