The CAT may soon be out of the bag at your nearest TSA checkpoint. That is “Credential Authentication Technology” (CAT), a new tool expected for TSA to further ensure the legitimacy of persons entering secure areas of the airport.
At an (initial) allotted cost of $85,000,000, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on December 13, 2013 for the development and procurement of an undetermined amount of CAT devices. Proposals are due by January 13, 2014.
The goal of the CAT system is to further ensure that only legitimate passengers, airport personnel, affiliated airline crews, non-traveling passengers using a gate pass, Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) gain access to sterile airport areas. The CAT system must have the capability to assess a wide variety of credentials and display the authentication results to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO).
The TSA’s Office of Security Capabilities (OSC) is tasked with developing the best procedures and technologies that deter, prevent, and/or render ineffective any attempt to sabotage commerce and transportation. The TSA, through its Checkpoint Technology Division (CTD), envisions the CAT system as a flexible system that can be deployed in different configurations depending on the needs and constraints of each checkpoint environment, including allowing for network connectivity to the main security program and operating system security patches on an ongoing basis.
The chosen contractor will be responsible for the design, manufacture, test, test support, software development, program management, training, engineering support, delivery, and various other logistics support tasks.