FIRST ON KOLO 8: Registered Traveler Technology Shut Down in Reno

By: Joe Harrington, KOLO Email
By: Joe Harrington, KOLO Email

FIRST ON KOLO 8 -- Biometric scanning technology needed to enroll passengers in the Registered Traveler program, and verify their identities at security checkpoints, has been shut down in Reno, according to the manufacturer. The equipment is provided by a private company called, Unisys, which says at the moment no one else can fully join the rtGo program in Reno.

Unisys says its technology was turned off in Reno on Tuesday. RtGo Program Director Bryan Ichikawa says there was an "issue" with the technology. He declined to elaborate, citing business proprietary information.

Unisys's scanners are used to take iris and finger print scans at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. If a person submits to the scans, and passes a background check, they can become a Registered Traveler. If you enroll in Reno, you get an rtGo Registered Travler card. According to rtGo's Web site, at security checkpoints, passengers insert their cards into the machine. They then have their eyes and fingers scanned, and scans are compared against the data from when they enrolled -- that allows Registered Travelers to stand in shorter security lines.

Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin says people who already have rtGo cards won't experience additional delays. He says cardholders can still stand in shorter security lines and simply display their cards -- but they will also have to show ID and a boarding pass.

Ichikawa says the company hopes to get the technology running again in Reno as soon as possible. He says in the meantime, discounts will be offered to some passengers. Ichikawa says it costs about $100 a year to participate in rtGo.

A spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration declined to research details of the scanner shut down in Reno until Monday. She says it is up to private industry to prove its technology meets security standards. However, Ichikawa says the issue with the technology in Reno is not one of security.

Kulpin says about 500 people have become Registered Travelers in the Reno area since enrollment began in May 2007.


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