CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded the announcement today made by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that a credential authentication technology (CAT) unit at Yeager Airport in Charleston is fully operational. Chairman Capito has strongly advocated for the deployment of this technology through her role on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This CAT unit will enhance detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint by authenticating several thousand types of IDs. According to TSA, passengers at the travel document checking station should hand their ID to the TSA officer who will insert it into the scanner for authentication. The unit validates if a traveler is ticketed to fly out of the airport that day, so there is no need to hand over your boarding pass (electronic or paper), which reduces a touch point to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. In the near future, passengers will be able to insert their ID into the CAT unit, which will reduce another touch point. A CAT unit consists of the passport reader, an ID card reader, a federal personal identity verification ID card reader, a monitor, a stand and a UV light.

“Throughout my chairmanship of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I have had numerous discussions with TSA about the efforts being made in technology to improve safety and the passenger experience,” Chairman Capito said. “I have also conveyed to them that airline passengers and employees should be as safe as possible—no matter the size of the airport or their eventual destination—because rural airports are a critical part of our air transportation system. The investments we have made in the past two funding bills have helped technology advance, and I’m glad it is being utilized at our state’s busiest airport.”


  • In the FY19 and FY20 federal government funding bills, Chairman Capito’s Homeland Security title provided over $4 million each year toward the procurement of Credential Authentication units.
  • At a hearing this past March, Chairman Capito specifically asked TSA Administrator Pekoske about deploying this technology to smaller airports.
  • The Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) is a critical piece of checkpoint technology that enhances the passenger screening process. The CAT machine improves the inspection of identification documentation (ID) and confirms a pre-screening status of an individual to ensure they are not a threat to aviation security.

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