LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — Travelers at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport no longer have to hand over their IDs or boarding passes to Transportation Security Administration officers thanks to new automated scanners, the agency said Friday.

Instead of giving the TSA officer their ID or boarding pass, travelers will now scan or insert it into a scanner. Those scanners use credential authentication technology to verify the travelers’ information and can also display near-real-time flight status.

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A traveler inserts her ID into a credential authentication technology unit at BWI Airport. Credit: TSA

The TSA said the move is one less touchpoint between officers and travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The use of the CAT units not only enhances security, but it also reduces a touchpoint between travelers and TSA officers, and makes this first step of the security screening process self-serve, an especially important feature during the pandemic,” Andrea Mishoe, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maryland, said in a news release.

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Travelers will still need to check in with their airline and bring their boarding pass to the gate, the agency said.

Besides the scanners, the TSA has made other changes due to COVID-19, including expanded use of X-ray scanners to reduce bag checks, increased physical distance between people and the installation of barriers between travelers and officers.

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CBS Baltimore Staff