How Clear Can Speed Up the Airport Screening Process

Excerpts from an article by Shivani Vora on NYTimes

The busiest time for air travel in the United States is nearly here. According to Mike England, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, airports around the country have the most number of fliers in the period from the few days before Thanksgiving through the New Year, compared with any other time of the year. T.S.A. expects to screen an average of 2.4 million fliers a day this year during this period; the average at other times of the year is two million fliers.

More fliers undoubtedly mean longer security lines. Enrolling in T.S.A’s PreCheck is one way to get through security faster, but Clear, a biometric screening program offered at 24 airports around the country, may speed up the process even more.

What exactly is Clear, and how is it different from T.S.A. PreCheck?

What is Clear?

Caryn Seidman Becker, the company’s chief executive, said that Clear uses biometric technology — in this case, either a scan of your fingerprints or an iris scan of your eye — to identify who you are and help you get through airport security quickly.

Biometrics is a technology that verifies a person’s identity through their fingerprints, facial features or other physical characteristics, according Larry Studdiford, a security consultant for airports and the founder of Studdiford Technical Solutions, a security firm in Alexandria, Va. “Biometrics is a virtually foolproof way to determine someone’s identity,” he said. “When it comes to flying, the hope is that biometrics will eventually replace the need for a boarding pass or a passport.”

How does it work?

Once Clear members arrive at the airport, they go through a dedicated Clear lane to a pod where they either scan their fingerprints on a fingerprint reader or look at a camera that can read iris images.

Read the full article on NYTimes.