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E-Passport lands at San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport
is hosting a live test of both e-Passports and the
readers that are capable of reading them.This test is a
collaborative effort between the United States, Australia, New Zealand and
Singapore that will run through April 15, 2006.
  “This test provides an important opportunity to work with our
international partners to further the Department of Homeland Security’s
efforts to put in place an e-Passport reader solution by the fall of this
year,” said Jim Williams, director of US-VISIT, a Department of Homeland
Security program.
  Participants include citizens of Australia and New Zealand who have been
issued the new e-Passports, Singapore Airlines crew and officials holding
trial e-Passports and U.S. diplomatic and official e-Passport holders.
  The test will assess the operational impact of using new equipment and
software to read and verify the information embedded in the e-Passports which
contain contactless chips with biographic and biometric information.
Participants will present their e-Passports when arriving in the United States
at SFO, at Changi Airport in Singapore or at Sydney Airport in Australia.
  The e-Passport contains the holder’s biographic information and a
biometric identifier, in this case a digital photograph, embedded in a
contactless chip set in the passport.  The inspection process for those
participating does not change.