New technology to scan shoes, (save time?) at airport

If you’ve ever been irritated by the whole process of taking your shoes off in the airport security line, this news may give you some solace. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced that they would be purchasing new technology to scan shoes while passengers wear them. Depending on the technology, machines could use electromagnetic fields, chemical detectors or spurts of air to search for explosives or weapons in the shoes, and would be able to do so without removal.

Could this save time at the airport? Potentially. Without the need to remove and x-ray shoes the lines may move faster, but passengers will also have to queue for the shoe scan as well, right?

My big qualm with the whole shoe scanning exercise is in the uneven enforcement. At many airports around the world, shoe removal, unlike metal detection, is optional. It seems silly that we need complicated shoe scanning technology here in the states when someone could easily forgo the test in Hong Kong, fly across the ocean and still cause problems.

I suppose until an optimal solution is found we’ve always got Velcro.