FAA continues smart card program without funding

The Federal Aviation Administration made small strides earlier this month in developing its smart card program, despite funding woes caused by the federal budget impasse.

The Transportation Department agency's contractor, Advanced Management Technology Inc. of Arlington, Va., bought software from ImageWare Systems Inc. of San Diego to build the backbone of the agency's online smart-card tracking system.

But Transportation cannot issue a request for proposals for any large smart-card program because the agency has no funding, FAA spokeswoman Rebecca Trexler said.

The agency has no smart-card deployment plan''It's sort of up in the air at this point,' she said'but is working on one piece of the system.

The development is part of the FAA's ID Media Program to create 16 kinds of credentials, badges and ID cards for FAA employees, special agents and federal marshals.

The ImageWare software developers' kit includes identification card software that will help the agency produce credentials online for ID cards, visas and possibly passports, and connect those credentials to a proprietary FAA database that will store employee information.

A Microsoft SQL Server database will include background and clearance information as well.

So far, the agency has decided to use the technology only to support its in-house tracking system for smart cards, Trexler said. The software can fit into existing access-control, time and attendance, point-of-sale and human resource applications, and will create a common interface to a system that all Transportation agencies can use, the company said.

Each DOT agency will have a different-looking card but will connect to the same system, Trexler said.

FAA also is conducting a smart-card pilot for the entire department, she said.

Biometric cards for logistical access also is in FAA's plans but will not be part of the initial smart-card deployment. 'We don't have an expected rollout because we have no money,' she said.


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