Keep Your Hat, er Shoes On, With New Scanner

Obviously all the extra searches and scans at airports which have followed 9/11 mean that getting through an airport has become a marathon process.  One such part of an airport visit may be reduced in duration, thanks to technology.

It all began with Richard Reid.  Reid was arrested on December 22, 2001 for attempting to destroy a Boeing 767 on American Airlines Flight 63, a flight from Paris, Charles De Gaulle International Airport to Miami International Airport, USA, by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes.  And since then, examining shoes has become a constant at not just airports, but at some courthouses and other secure facilities.

Israel has introduced a step-on scanner called "MagShoe."  It has been installed at Ben-Gurion Airport, and is set up next to the walk-through scanners at the airport. "MagShoe" announces within two seconds whether the shoes of the passenger standing on it contains something unusual, such as metal that might be a knife for a hijacking or a bomb part.

"This innovation brings enormous logistical value as it significantly cuts down the discomfort and delays associated with standard shoe searches," said Nissim Ben-Ezra, security technologies manager for Israel's Airports Authority.

But he said MagShoe must be used in conjunction with other precautions, especially as it would not spot hidden explosives -- a major concern after the botched 2001 "shoe bombing" by al Qaeda sympathizer Richard Reid aboard a Paris-Miami flight.

Of course, the Israelis, always at the forefront of security technology, for obvious reasons, are working on a "bomb sniffing" version of "MagShoe."  Let's just hope they can make it differentiate between bombs and just plain bad foot odor.
Tags:  shoe, scanner, can, SHO, scan, keep, shoes, K