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DHS and CBP launch Maryland facility for biometric entry/exit testing


The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, along with Customs and Border Protection have launched a new test center in Maryland to test biometric technologies as part of the Apex Air Entry/Exit Re-Engineering project.

According to a report in Newswise, the new facility is a 25,000 square ft. scenario-based testing environment, which will be used to weigh biometric and non-biometric security technologies under simulated airport entry and exit conditions. According to the report, the new center aims to increase screening capacity for travelers entering the U.S. while reducing wait times, as well as to identify biometric entry and exit solutions.

“Apex AEER is a collaborative partnership between S&T and CBP designed to assist CBP in addressing the entry challenges as well as to enable the Department to meet the mandate for a biometric air exit capability,” Robert Burns, S&T’s Apex AEER director said in the report. “This is much more than a technology project. It’s about taking technology and integrating it with the CBP mission while facilitating secure air travel.”

The center was officially opened in late June 2014.

“Here in the [Maryland Test Facility] and in the project overall, we are bringing the science and technology experts together with the operator from the field,” Burns said. “We’re also bringing in the psychologist, human factors engineer, the policy and legal experts, private industry, and the American public to ensure we look at all aspects of a complex mission need.”

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