Case Study - Transport Canada

Case Study - Transport Canada


In 2006, Transport Canada approached E-CARD IDEXPERTS to help solve a problem regarding secure access at airports for their Aviation Inspectors.

All of the TC inspectors had out-dated ID cards with minimal security features that could be easily copied, and the cards did not integrate into the new Canada-wide biometric security solution implemented by CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.  Additionally, TC inspectors were spread out across Canada in multiple offices.  Capturing consistent photographic and biometric data from these inspectors presented a challenge.

Transport Canada had Inspector credentials for each mode of transportation: Road, Rail, Sea or Air.  Some of the cards required biometrics, while many did not.  All credentials needed to have high-security features built into them to prevent counterfeiting and to enable these cards to be visually authenticated in the field.  Transport Canada was directed to E-CARD at the recommendation of an international security manufacturer, a long time partner of E-CARD since the beginning of the company in 1996.

Our Approach

E-CARD and Transport Canada engaged in a consultative discovery process to determine the best way to provide secure credentials that could resist forgery while integrating with CATSA's existing biometric solution.  In addition to meetings at TC offices in Ottawa, E-CARD hosted a round table discussion in Vancouver at their expense in order for fully understand the challenges being faced by TC.

Our Solution

As a result of the discussion, E-CARD proposed a dual approach using a both fixed and mobile enrollment stations.  Working within Federal Government guidelines for procurement strategies and clearance requirements, E-CARD was awarded the contracted to deliver secure credentials to Transport Canada's inspectors.

The fixed enrollment station was delivered to Ottawa on schedule and on budget.  This station included biometric capture equipment, card encoders and card personalization systems.  This enabled TC operators to process an inspector in under 20 minutes.  At the end of the session, the Inspector would depart with a biometric-enabled photo ID card that worked on doors at all Canada's Class 1 and 2 airports (about 30 in total).

The mobile enrollment station was delivered to Ottawa on schedule and under-budget.  During the development process, E-CARD discovered significantly more secure & efficient ways to communicate with CATSA's biometric system from the road.  This simplification allowed E-CARD to train TC operators to conduct all the card personalization operations themselves without having to subcontract the process as initially agreed.  

TC operators travelled to all their offices in Canada and issued biometric-enabled photo ID to all their Inspectors.  The mobile station operator experience was identical to that of the fixed station, reducing training time.

The Benefits

Confidence - Citizens, Private Companies and Government Agencies could now trust the credential as valid and tamper-resistant.

Mobility - Inspectors could move between airports in Canada and biometric data stored securely on the card was compatible with the CATSA system.

Data Security - Both fixed and mobile enrollment stations used the same security protocols for data transmission, meeting very strict federal government guidelines for data protection.

Cost Reduction - Inspectors avoided costly trips to Ottawa just to receive a printed card.

Contract Savings - E-CARD passed along the savings realized through the development process.

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