Bizav security card prepared for tests

 - May 22, 2008, 5:10 AM

A “smart” security identification card that can be used by aircraft passengers and another that would be used by flight crews, aviation employees and student pilots will undergo a 90-day proof-of-concept test–beginning on or about January 1–in a partnership among the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Executive Jet Aviation, Signature Flight Support and FlightSafety International.

Enrollment in the SkyD “trusted traveler” program for passengers would be voluntary and would require a background check. For those who qualify, a biometric, digital smart card is issued with an embedded chip that positively identifies the presenter, using a fingerprint or iris scan or something similar.

While commercial aviation passengers who enroll in the SkyD program will be issued ID cards at airports by FAA-approved authorities, general aviation participants would enroll at GA facilities such as Signature. NATA said that preliminary discussions with the FAA on general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and other sensitive security areas suggest that SkyD procedures may be acceptable to various national security authorities.

Another system called SkyGuard is for trusted aviation employees and students. It supports the more extensive background-check requirements now mandated for aviation employees, as well as those additional requirements likely to be added by Congress for aviation students. It also allows a wide range of aircraft operators who currently face local or