General Electric announced this morning that the company's security division is getting involved in the TSA Registered Traveler marketplace. At point was a $16 million investment in Registered Traveler program solutions provider Verified Identity Pass.
The funding comes from GE subsidiary GE Invision, and fits strongly with GE's strong research and development focus on luggage and passenger screening technologies. The GE stake, at just $16 million, is clearly a minority stake, but GE Security's President and CEO Louis Parker said that the investment reflects the company's overall interest in aviation security.
Verified Identity Pass (www.verifiedidpass.com) operates the Clear registered traveler program, which is currently the only operational Registered Traveler program in the U.S. The Clear program, which costs users $80 per year opened last summer at the Orlando International Airport. It requires an application and uses fingerprint and iris biometrics for authentication at the enrollment stations. The program then lets the TSA perform the requisite background checks on passengers, and then, once the person receives approval from the TSA, they can use the ClearLanes security screening lanes.
The Registered Traveler program is expect to expand starting in June 2006, a date from which the TSA has allowed other private companies to enter the Registered Traveler operations marketplace.