TSA seeks vendors for biometrics products tests

The Transportation Security Administration has released a request for information to all biometric technology vendors wishing to participate in the agency's test of biometric devices at 20 airports.

TSA plans to select one or two devices during the month from each vendor for its Airport Access Control Pilot Program. It is seeking "information on the technical capabilities, catalog price, implementation costs, and availability of equipment that is suitable for this application," the RFI said.

The pilot will focus on verifying the identities of airport and airline employees for access control. The devices will include facial, fingerprint, hand geometry, iris and voice recognition technologies. They will be tested at airport turnstiles, terminal doors to baggage areas and airline crew access points between terminals and aircraft.

TSA wants components, devices or systems that can be deployed in limited quantities within three months and devices that will work for full-scale deployment in nine months. The agency plans to release a request for proposals for systems integrators on the National Institutes of Health's Chief Information Officer Solutions & Partners 2 Innovations contract that will install and test the various biometric technologies for the pilot.

"The systems integrator will coordinate with vendors of selected equipment to install and test the equipment to determine the effectiveness of the devices with respect to the type of secured access control and airport category and environment," the RFI said.

(Updated Dec. 17, 2002 4:04p.m.)

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