Israeli Airport Unveils Revolutionary Security System

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JERUSALEM, Israel - As international airports around the world beef up security in the wake of the failed Northwest Airlines bombing, Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport is introducing a biometric system to make security checks easier.

It's called Unipass - a revolutionary airport security system officials say is the first of its kind in the world.

"It's a biometric system that allows us to do a better security check that enables security checkers to use computerized tools, to remember the passenger using a biometric fingerprint…and to process the traveler in a faster and more efficient way," airport security official Zohar Gefen explained.

The new machines installed at the airport recognize a passenger's details using a triple biometric identification system.

The machine first scans the passport, then scans the fingerprint and finally scans the Unipass card.

The system allows airport security guards to access any information about the traveler. It is intended to help security personnel determine if a passenger poses a risk.

Unipass is currently in use for business-class passengers only on Israel's El Al airlines. However, it's expected to be expanded next year.

Security experts have long looked to Israel for help in making their airports safer.

Israel's Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv is renowned for its tough security checks. It is also viewed as one of the safest airports in the world.

*Originally published January 7, 2010.

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