SAN JOSE, Calif.--GE Homeland Protection Inc., a business of GE Security, Inc. and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of the General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), today announced its advanced-technology Secure Registered Traveler (SRT) Kiosks are deployed to support the first private Registered Traveler (RT) program lanes in the San Francisco Bay area and on the U.S. west coast -- Verified Identity Pass, Inc.'s Clear lanes. The GE SRT Kiosk is being used in San Jose to positively identify Clear program members.
GE SRT Kiosks are also deployed to ClearÂ® lanes at New York JFK International Airport's terminal seven, Indianapolis, Orlando and now San Jose international airports, where they are being used to identify program members. In Orlando, the SRT Kiosk's advanced shoe-scanning functionality has been approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and, in most cases, members who successfully complete the kiosk's shoe scanning no longer have to remove their shoes as they pass through security screening.
The TSA is separately evaluating the use of the SRT Kiosk's advanced shoe-scanning technology in each of the airports where they are deployed and may approve their use and potential benefits on an airport-specific basis.
"The requirement to remove shoes at the airport is the top complaint of frequent travelers and GE's SRT Kiosk is the first technology breakthrough, which can eliminate the need for travelers to remove their shoes," said Dennis Cooke, president, GE Security's Homeland Protection business. "In fact, many members of the Clear program who fly out of Orlando are currently passing through the checkpoint with their shoes on. We are hopeful that San Jose and other airports will be afforded a similar benefit in the coming weeks and months."
"We are witnessing the beginning of a revolution in aviation security, one that will fundamentally alter the passenger experience. The shoe-scanning technology in GE's new kiosk, combined with the private RT business model, will one day be remembered as what started this revolution," said Matthew Farr, senior homeland security analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "The RT business model is allowing this and future generations of aviation security technologies to enter the market in a more expedient fashion, which will deliver better security and bring a sense of normalcy to air travel."
Additional kiosk deployments are planned for Cincinnati International Airport later this month.
The GE SRT Kiosk is the first integrated, or sensor-fused, aviation security product, purpose built for the Registered Traveler market, to be deployed to an airport passenger checkpoint. Clear program members identified and assessed by the SRT Kiosk may enjoy a more convenient airport experience, including potential waiver of the need to remove their shoes in many cases. Clear is the first operator to launch TSA-approved RT lanes in this new market, a market estimated by analysts to potentially range in size from $1 â€“ 3 billion.
The GE SRT Kiosk was designed and developed to offer Registered Traveler program service providers a one-stop, self-serve solution for quickly, conveniently and positively identifying program members while potentially enhancing overall security as a result of evaluating finger scans and shoes for indications of possible threats. The kiosk integrates quadrupole resonance and trace (ITMS) explosives detection technologies with biometric identification functionality to create a solution built specifically to support RT programs. The trace explosives detection functionality of the Kiosk is being evaluated by the TSA and has not yet been approved.
In addition to fast and efficient identification and security assessment, current benefits of using the SRT Kiosk can include the potential for waiver of the requirement to remove shoes when passing through checkpoints at TSA-approved airports. It's hoped that a future benefit to be afforded by the TSA may allow RT program members to avoid removing jackets and other outer garments.
GE Security tested the kiosk at Verified's Clear Registered Traveler lanes at Orlando International Airport, the site of the initial RT pilot program, last year.
The integration of multiple technologies into one kiosk is an initial step toward realization of GE Security's vision for the airport checkpoint of the future where the data from multiple security sensors are fused to produce a collective security product that is more than the sum of the individual sensors' parts. In the sensor-fused airport of the future, GE envisions creation of something that doesn't exist today, a total passenger security picture made up of data from all available sensors, with each able to signal increased scrutiny by other sensors as "alarms" occur.
GE Security is an investor in, and equipment and service provider to, Verified Identity Pass, which operates Clear.