October 12, 2008
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Israel has introduced a step-on scanner that spares airline travelers the nuisance of having to remove their shoes so they can be X-rayed for hidden weapons, though the new device cannot yet sniff out explosives.
Only the shoes of passengers deemed suspicious by Ben-Gurion Airport staff are removed, X-rayed and swabbed for bomb residues. Most people can now keep their shoes on.
Installed next to the walk-through scanners at Ben-Gurion, “MagShoe” announces within two seconds whether the footwear of the passenger standing on it contains unusual metal that might be a knife for a hijacking or a bomb detonator 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.
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