TSA Deploys New Technology at Honolulu Airport

June 5—The Transportation Security Administration has been investing in new technology to screen travelers and their personal property at security checkpoints at Hawaii airports with the goal of enhancing security and improving the efficiency of controls, which comes in handy in the traditional summer rush of commuters. starts

The Transportation Security Administration has been investing in new technology to screen travelers and their personal property at security checkpoints at Hawaii airports with the goal of enhancing security and improving screening efficiency, which It comes in handy when the traditional summer rush of travelers begins.

TSA at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport now has four next-generation Credential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) units at security checkpoints, which became operational in mid-May. In addition to matching a traveler’s facial features for identity verification purposes, the units can accept mobile driver’s licenses, which are an option for drivers in Arizona, Maryland, Colorado, Utah and Georgia.

TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers, who gave the Honolulu Star-Advertiser a tour of the new TSA technology on Wednesday, said travelers can save their boarding passes for CAT-2 and older Credential Authentication machines. Technology (CAT) that the TSA had already been implementing in Hawaii.

She said that during CAT a photo ID is scanned into a reader that is linked to a secure flight database to confirm the authenticity of a passenger’s ID credentials, along with their flight details and pre-selection status. (like TSA PreCheck), all without a boarding pass. Dankers said that CAT enhances a TSA officer’s ability to authenticate a guest’s photo ID and makes it easier to detect inconsistencies associated with fraudulent travel documents.

She said CAT-2, which is being tested at 25 airports across the country, including Honolulu, adds face-matching capabilities to verify travelers’ identity and flight information.

“It’s controversial because some people don’t like facial matching technologies,” Dankers said. “TSA is testing this technology and we are continuing to evaluate it. But we want people to know … that the images are never stored. There is no database of people who are coming to travel today.”

While the Honolulu airport is one of the places where the TSA conducts biometric operational screenings, participation in these screenings is completely voluntary, he said.

In addition, the TSA is also working to improve the way it screens travelers’ carry-on bags at Hawaii airport security checkpoints. Dankers said. TSA installed CT X-ray scanners at five Hawaii airports during the pandemic. There is one unit each at the Honolulu airport; Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keahole, Island of Hawaii; and the Hilo International Airport. There are two units at the Kahului airport and four at the Lihue airport.

Dankers said the CT units give TSA officers the ability to review a 3D image of passengers’ bags and reduce the need to physically search a bag’s contents. Passengers screened in security lanes with CT units do not need to remove their liquids or TSA-compliant laptops, but must place all carry-on items, including bags, in a container for inspection.

Dankers said the 3D screening process is sometimes slower, but more accurate, as it allows TSA officers to manipulate the images for greater accuracy, thus eliminating some of the delays that can occur in check-in lines. security when flagging travelers for further screening. In fact, every checked bag in the CT line on Wednesday during the Star-Advertiser tour contained a prohibited item.

Dankers said most people at the airport don’t check their bags; however, he said the count is likely to be higher at the Honolulu airport “because there are a lot of tourists and they bring things that they were using on vacation.”

While some passengers at the Honolulu airport forgot to remove their sunscreen, most of the bags that had to go through a hand search contained baby food, formula or breast milk.

“Do people love this process? No. Is the process necessary? Yes,” he said. “I think each of them could have been prevented if they had removed medically necessary fluids.”

While medically necessary liquids are authorized, Dankers said passengers should inform the TSA officer that they have medically necessary liquids or medications and separate them from other belongings before screening begins.

Since some of Wednesday’s travelers failed to declare medically necessary fluids related to the baby, Star-Advertiser saw they had to undergo additional tests, including pat-downs, as well as screening for explosives. TSA officers at the Honolulu airport were using specially programmed explosive trace detection units, which can detect even the smallest amount of explosive residue. The TSA also uses bottle liquid scanners to scan medically necessary liquids when they are in quantities greater than 1oo milliliters.

For information on screening for medically necessary fluids, visit and click on the “Special Procedures” link on the right of the page.

The TSA also uses passenger screening canines, which have been used for a while at the Honolulu airport and were added to the Maui airport in September. There are more than 200 passenger screening canine teams deployed by the TSA across the country.

The dogs, which undergo intensive training at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio and at the airports where they are deployed, are able to conduct real-time threat assessments of travelers passing through a security checkpoint. If a dog alerts its handler to the presence of an explosive odor, the TSA said it follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm.

Throughout the summer and beyond, the TSA continues to modernize airport checkpoints, improve security effectiveness and efficiency, and enhance the passenger experience by implementing new technology solutions and streamlining procedures across the country. and in Hawaii.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement just before Memorial Day, the start of the summer rush, “TSA stands ready to handle the anticipated surge in travel this summer.”

Pekoske said the TSA heads into the summer with better staffing levels, largely due to a pay increase effective July 1 that he said will allow TSA for the first time to pay its workforce using the same scale as it applies to other federal employees.

TSA has also made changes for families using TSA PreCheck. Registered parents or guardians can now add their teens ages 13-17 to accompany them through TSA PreCheck lanes when traveling on the same reservation. As with younger children, who have always been able to accompany parents or guardians, the TSA PreCheck must be on the teenager’s boarding pass.

TSA said that TSA PreCheck is a tool that allows eligible travelers to shorten wait times and estimates that 89% of TSA PreCheck-eligible travelers waited five minutes or less to clear security during April. TSA PreCheck enrollment is offered at two locations in Honolulu, in Wailuku on Maui, in Kapaa on Kauai, and in Hilo. To start the process, visit

But passengers still have an important role to play in keeping screening times efficient, starting with being prepared to travel and listening to guidance from TSA officers, especially on requirements for new technology, officials said.

“Passengers can also help by being prepared, by having their identification ready when they begin screening and checking to make sure they are not bringing firearms, large liquids, or any other prohibited items into the checkpoint. One person’s actions they can delay the inspection for everyone more,” Pekoske said.

Travelers with questions can get live support from 8 am to 6 pm ET via Twitter or Facebook by sending a message to @AskTSA or texting 272872 (“AskTSA”).

For customer service issues, travelers can contact the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Live support for TCC and TSA Cares is available weekdays 8 am to 11 pm ET, or weekends and holidays 9 am to 8 pm ET.