The program is voluntary and requires passengers to undergo an interview, fingerprinting, a background check and an examination of their eye iris. Such information will be incorporated into a card that passengers will use like a MetroCard.Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced the JFK initiative last week at Schipol International Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which has used such eye scan technology since 2001.Those using the smart cards issued by the Homeland Security Department may bypass U.S. Customs and proceed to baggage if their eye scan results match information on their cards.In another development, JFK will have to make extensive renovations totaling more than $120 million to accommodate the world's biggest jetliner, the Airbus A380, introduced earlier this week in Toulouse, France.FAA officials said renovations will include widening of runways and aprons, shifting of taxiways and reinforcing bridges over expressways because of the weight of the giant planes.The Airbus A380 cost $14 billion to plan and build and 149 have been sold so far. Depending on seat configuration, the A380 can carry from 550 to 850 passengers. The superjumbo will offer a duty-free shop, wet bar, workout room, a nursery for young children, amenities in first class including seats that recline as beds, and other features. The first test flight is scheduled for April and the commercial debut for next summer.
©2005 Community News Group
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