Secure Flight's off-the-shelf recipe

The Secure Flight program’s two operations centers run identical configurations of hardware and commercial off-the-shelf software. Key components include IBM’s DB2 relational database, the IBM Tivoli product suite, IBM Websphere MQ series messaging backbone, and IBM Rational ClearCase software management running on UNIX/AIX and Windows operating systems. 

Related coverage:

TSA's Secure Flight curbed risk, calmed travelers

The Transportation Security Administration team credits its use of off-the-shelf software with holding down overall costs and with allowing deployment of the Secure Flight solution a month ahead of schedule. 

“By leveraging existing systems and using industry-standard, commercial off-the-shelf software, the Secure Flight program successfully developed an efficient, cost-effective, and responsive system,” said TSA Deputy Administrator Gail Rossides. “These created a flexible data submission process that addresses TSA's security needs as well as the needs of the aviation industry.”

In addition, TSA staff members developed eSecure Flight, a lightweight Web application used by some airlines with limited technological capabilities for direct submission of passenger manifests. The application uses IP restrictions, multifactor authentication and secure protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer.

All data from airlines is submitted to Secure Flight's dual operations centers via the DHS router, which is supported by a Websphere MQ cluster configuration that automates a failover process.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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