The testing by the institute would be completed in six to eight weeks, said Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary for passport services at the State Department.
"The responsibility of the Department of State is not just issuing passports; it's the safety and security of Americans as they live and travel around the world," Moss
said the department does not like to call the passport chip RFID, because people typically refer to the technology as it is used by retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
, and the Defense Department
, which use it to track shipments.Instead, he
calls it "contactless smart card technology."
The chips would help speed up the processing of passengers at a time when airports are bracing for the arrival in 2006 of Airbus' superjumbo jets that are to seat at least 500 passengers, Moss