TSA Testing New Security Kiosk In Houston

Photo by veralu. Found at www.sxc.hu/photo/168923
The TSA is looking into making another change at security check points — all in the name of safety and security. Houston is one of only three cities where a new passenger identification kiosk is being tested.

If you’re taking a flight, before you even take off your shoes, or place your belongings onto the x-ray scanner, you must first show your ID and boarding pass to the officer standing at the front of the line.

That officer determines if the picture on the ID matches the person he’s looking at. He must also determine if the ID is fake. But now the TSA is testing a kiosk, where the ID is entered into a machine and the boarding pass bar code is swiped.

"The purpose of the kiosk is to improve the security, because of the number of different documents, while not delaying or making the process any longer."

Ronald Weygand is with Morpho Trust USA, the company that makes the kiosk. It’s currently being tested in Virginia, Puerto Rico, and here in Houston.

Weygand’s company also makes driver licenses for many U.S. states, so he knows the many different variations the security officer must be able to identify.

"There are probably over 1,300 different government ID’s that are issued, when you look at all the states and all of the variations."

So the question is will a machine not only do a better job of checking ID’s, but almost equally as important to some, will it do it without making the security checkpoint process longer than it already is?

"Does it take TSA longer to insert the document in the machine and get it back than it does for him to do it manually?"

The testing period for the kiosk lasts until November.