Biometrics Company to Offer Fingerprint, Iris Scans as Security at BWI Airport

(Tribune News Service) — A company that uses biometric technology to verify travelers’ identities through fingerprint and iris scans will launch its security clearance services for enrolled members at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport starting next month. The company, New York-based CLEAR, says its scanning kiosks will be integrated into the Transportation Security Administration’s existing Pre-Check system and will be available at BWI’s B and D concourses.

The Anne Arundel County airport is the first in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and the 11th airport nationwide to be added to the company’s network, it said. « We are thrilled to bring CLEAR to BWI, one of the nation’s fastest-growing airports and one our CLEAR members have requested be added to our network, » said CLEAR CEO Caryn Seidman Becker. « Increasing our east coast presence and joining the DC Metro Area is a 2015 priority for us and we are thrilled to be accomplishing this in partnership with BWI. »

Jonathan Dean, a BWI spokesman, said the service would provide travelers with « another security option and enhancement » at the airport, which remains « committed to providing a safe and efficient travel experience » for customers. The airport is in the midst of expanding its presence in the international market, including through new services under its largest carrier, Southwest Airlines.

Membership in the CLEAR program, which applicants may apply for online or at BWI’s A, B and D concourses, costs less than $15 a month. There are « preferred rates » for military personnel and corporations, and users can receive discounts for other services including Hertz car rentals, the company said.

Local travelers can enroll online at using the code BWI2MTRY, the company said.

The company said it is certified as a « Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology » by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and has already been used 2 million times by travelers in airports across the country, from New York to Colorado and California. Area fliers have shown an affinity for pre-clearance options for airport security. On Tuesday, the TSA announced it had reached more than 1 million enrollees in its Pre-Check program, which launched in December 2013. The program offers expedited security clearance for verified travelers at all three of the region’s airports, including BWI, Washington Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport.

Dulles is the nation’s third most popular airport enrollment site, with 17,844 applications filed there as of March 22, the TSA said. Reagan has seen 9,214 applications. BWI does not offer on-site enrollment, but an off-site location in Dundalk has received 9,404 applications and another in Linthicum has seen 1,931.

Source: The Baltimore Sun. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC