Airport shoe scanners to go on trial

The US Transportation Security Administration is to begin tests of shoe-scanning technology at an international airport this summer.

Testing of this technology is a key step towards eventually allowing passengers to keep their shoes on when they go through the security checkpoint; the biggest complaint about the security screening process.

The two units at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – manufactured by L3 Communications – will be used to collect data and evaluate the technology's potential use in the checkpoint environment. Since the testing is solely for data collection, the shoe scanners will be positioned in front of the walk-through metal detector and passengers will still need to remove their shoes to go through the screening process.

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology division is also testing shoe scanners and will collaborate with TSA on the results.

TSA will use units on loan from L3 to conduct the testing and will continue to examine new technologies, like the shoe scanner, that can improve security and reduce hassle for travellers.

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