A biometric identity verification system is coming to McCarran International Airport.
The Clark County Commission on Tuesday approved a lease agreement with Alclear LLC, operators of the Clear identity verification platform that scans fingerprints and irises at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at the airport.
The company expects to launch the service at McCarran this summer.
“We are pleased with Tuesday’s board action, as it’s a critical step in bringing Clear’s service to McCarran International Airport,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of the Clark County Aviation Department.
“The company is working to finalize its plans for McCarran with the Transportation Security Administration, and once TSA’s approval has been secured, we believe this service will quickly find an interested pool of customers here in Las Vegas, as has previously occurred in other Clear markets.”
Travelers enrolled in the system are expected to move through security lines in less than five minutes.
McCarran would be the 10th airport to become a part of the Clear network. Systems already are operating at two airports in Houston as well as in San Francisco, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Orlando, San Jose, Calif., and Westchester County Airport in New York.
The company plans to have between 18 and 20 airports with the service within a year.
Clear users must pay a $179 annual subscription fee to use the system with other family members costing $50. Children under 18 are free.
Prospective users of the system can start an enrollment online, but it must be completed in person by providing a passport and driver’s license or a military ID.
Once enrolled, a customer receives a “smart card” storing personal biometric information. At the airport in the ID verification line, the card is read by a scanner at a kiosk and the passenger has a fingerprint or iris scanned to match and verify identity. Passengers are then directed to security lines.
“That’s why we call it the ATM of identity,” said Clear CEO Caryn Seidman Becker in an interview.
At McCarran, Clear lines will be set up at the C and D gates and at Terminal 3 to cater to business travelers most likely to use the system. But Becker said because of “family-friendly pricing,” the Clear system would be suitable to leisure travelers as well.
“As a Las Vegas resident, half your travel is going to occur from McCarran and as the network expands, customers will be able to use it at other airports nationwide,” she said.
Becker said the company is eyeing agreements with Los Angeles International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, two airports with 40 daily round trips to Las Vegas between them.
Passengers who have used the system say the Clear scanning lines normally are considerably shorter than other ID verification lines.
Becker said once the Clear platform is established in Las Vegas, it will have the capability of enabling passengers clearing security to order food in the terminal in advance of a flight or making other transactions.
Under terms of the agreement approved by the commission, Alclear would pay Clark County at least $350,000 in the first year for passengers to be cleared and nearly $5,000 a month to rent space.
Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.