Smart Card Alliance Paper Provides Guidance on Interoperable Identity Credential for the Air Transport Industry

Smart Card Alliance Paper Provides Guidance on Interoperable Identity Credential for the Air Transport Industry

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., October 20, 2008–Since September 11, 2001, the air transportation system–airports and air carriers–has added significantly more security measures to counter threats to U.S. civil aviation. One critical area that continues to evolve is the deployment of interoperable identity credentials and systems. Airport executives and security directors, policy makers, technology providers and other stakeholders are working today to define guidelines for high assurance IDs that can work anywhere in the country. To assist in this effort, the Smart Card Alliance has created a new white paper, “Interoperable Identity Credentials for the Air Transport Industry.” The report was created in collaboration with the aviation industry, including the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA).

“Smart card technology is already the gold standard for ‘high assurance’ identity credentials,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “We have a wealth of experience helping the U.S. federal government and their technology partners organize other similar programs, like the governmentwide Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card now being issued to all federal employees. These initiatives form a well-defined base of specifications and best practices that can provide a solid foundation for air transport identity credentials.”

The Alliance white paper frames the air transportation ID topic discussion, starting with the definition of the overarching goal to create an interoperable, high assurance identity credential. Other topics include:

  • Existing standards and guidance for federal identity credentials and airport access control and the support they provide for implementing an interoperable identity credential for the air transport industry
  • Technologies and processes that are needed for interoperable identity credentials
  • Airport use cases for an interoperable identity credential

“Air transportation ID credentials is very top of mind in the industry today, and this white paper provides a thorough treatment of the topic spanning technology, relevant government ID standards and current air transportation security initiatives,” said Colleen Chamberlain, staff vice president, transportation security policy, for the AAAE. “We appreciated the opportunity to provide input into this paper from an airport operator’s point of view especially given the unique nature of the aviation industry and the need for local control and operational flexibility. We highly recommend this report to our members and other industry stakeholders.”

Lydia T. Kellogg, senior manager, public safety and security for ACI-NA, sees value in building on what already exists. “The fact is that the federal government has already worked through the same ID credential and system issues confronting our industry. This report describes the value of building on the federal framework for credentials for the air transport industry,” said Kellogg.

Identity and Physical Access Council members and guests who contributed to this report included: American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Airports Council International – North America, BearingPoint, Diebold Incorporated, DMJM H&N, General Services Administration (GSA), Hirsch Electronics, Identification Technology Partners (IDTP), IDmachines, IQ Devices, JMF Solutions LLC, L-1 Identity Solutions, Lenel, Thales e-Security, Tyco International, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and U.S. Department of State.

The white paper is available for download at no charge from the Smart Card Alliance Web site at

Government smart card identity and security initiatives will be explored further at the 7th Annual Smart Cards in Government Conference, held October 22–24, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Register for the conference by visiting the Smart Cards in Government Web site.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. Alliance Councils work on specific areas of interest to member organizations; participation is open to any member who wishes to contribute to Council projects. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit

About the Physical Access Council

The Smart Card Alliance Physical Access Council brings together leading users and technologists from both the public and private sectors in an open forum and works on activities that are important to the physical access control industry and address key issues that end user organizations have in deploying new physical access system technology.

About the Identity Council

The Smart Card Alliance Identity Council is focused on technologies and usage solutions that secure human identity information, reduce identity theft and fraud and help organizations realize the benefits that secure identity information delivers. The Council engages a broad set of participants and takes an industry perspective, bringing careful thought, joint planning and multiple organization resources to bear on addressing the challenges of securing identity information for proper use.