The Transportation Security Administration has new technology in line at Des Moines International Airport. The machine is called CAT2 and it uses facial recognition. Des Moines is one of about two dozen airports across the country that use CAT2. The machine works by taking a picture of you and matching it to your ID photo to confirm your identity. TSA officials hope this will provide a more secure experience for travelers. “It reduces the element of human error. And I think travelers appreciate that. Everyone wants the safest experience possible,” said Jessica Mayley with the TSA. The machines have been at the airport since May as part of a pilot project, and passengers can still opt out and be manually screened if they don’t want to have their picture taken. So far, Mayley reports a 99% accuracy rate. “We’re continuing to collect that data. And again, we’re helping travelers get more comfortable with the technology,” Mayley said. Some travelers have already experienced the machine at other airports and say it has been effective. Shannon Dill, a visitor from Baltimore, said, “It was very quick. I didn’t know what they were doing. It just said go ahead, gave them my ID, winked and off I went.” Some people have never heard of CAT2 yet but believe it will improve their experience. “With facial recognition matching, I think it would help move things a little bit faster so why not?” Des Moines resident Sara Estrada said. As people and employees get used to the machine, it is expected that the entire TSA checkpoint will run faster and more smoothly. Des Moines is not the only airport in Iowa with this technology, CAT2 is also at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

The Transportation Security Administration has new technology in line at Des Moines International Airport. The machine is called CAT2 and it uses facial recognition, Des Moines is one of about two dozen airports across the country that use CAT2.

The machine works by taking a picture of you and matching it to your ID photo to confirm your identity. TSA officials hope this will provide a more secure experience for passengers.

TSA’s Jessica Mayle said, “It reduces the element of human error. And I think travelers appreciate that. Everyone wants the most secure experience.”

The machines have been at the airport since May as part of a pilot project, and passengers can still opt out and be manually screened if they don’t want to have their picture taken.

So far, Mayley reports a 99% accuracy rate.

“We’re continuing to collect that data. And again, helping passengers get more comfortable with the technology,” Mayle said.

Some passengers have already experienced this machine at other airports and say it has been effective.

Shannon Dill, a visitor from Baltimore, said, “It was very quick. I didn’t know what they were doing. It just said go ahead, gave them my ID, winked and off I went.”

Some people have never heard of CAT2 yet but believe it will improve their experience.

“With facial recognition matching, I think it would help move things a little bit faster so why not?” Des Moines resident Sara Estrada said.

As people and employees get used to the machine, it is expected that the entire TSA checkpoint will run faster and more smoothly.

Des Moines is not the only airport in Iowa with this technology, CAT2 is also at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.


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