January 13, 2006 1:49 PM PST
E-passport test takes flight
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Testing of the e-passports, which carry biometric identification technologies, will be conducted at San Francisco International Airport, as well as Changi Airport in Singapore and Sydney Airport in Australia. The testing will begin Sunday and continue through April 15, with the help of the Australian, New Zealand and Singaporean governments.
"This test provides an important opportunity to work with our international partners...to put in place an e-Passport reader solution by the end of fall of this year," Jim Williams, director of US-VISIT, a Homeland Security program, said in a statement.
U.S. diplomats, Australian and New Zealand citizens and Singapore Airlines officials are among those who have been issued the e-passports. These people will also undergo normal screening procedures at the international airports.
The test will be used to gather information to help countries develop their respective electronic passport, the Department of Homeland Security said. The e-passport must comply with the standards issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Previously, the Department of Homeland Security conducted testing at the Los Angeles International Airport and the Sydney Airport, after which it determined further testing was needed.