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Oakland Airport Gets on the Fast Track with 'Clear' Smart Card Program

Port of Oakland commissioners recently approved use of a new smart card program that will allow frequent travelers to quickly move through security check points at Oakland International Airport. The "Clear" program, which is already being used in a number of busy airports, including those in Orlando, New York, and San Francisco, goes into affect in Oakland this April.

In order to obtain a Clear pass, a traveler must first be prescreened. Digital photos are taken, along with fingerprint and iris scans. Once approved, they pay an annual fee of about $100, and receive a Clear card which grants access to special security lanes for cardholders. Clear travelers insert the card into a special reader, then verify their identity by pressing a fingerprint scanner or peering into an iris-recognition device. The biometric information is then compared to that stored on the smart card. If everything matches, the traveler is allowed to steadily move along, bypassing the traffic of the ordinary security line.