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New Technology Could Let You Keep Your Shoes on

SmarterTravel

Quick: What do you hate most about airline security?

If you said, “taking my @&%$& shoes off,” well, you’re not alone. And believe it or not, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) actually hears you: The agency is in the process of testing new equipment that scans travelers’ shoes for metal weapons and explosives.

But this isn’t the first time the TSA has tried to solve the shoe problem. USA Today reports that the “TSA tested a scanner in 2007 at Orlando International Airport but pulled it after seven months because the machine missed too many weapons and bomb parts during tests. The scanner also troubled some passengers because it sounded alarms on shoes containing harmless metal.”

Developers of new models, however, promise better results this time around. One company already has several models in use in Israel, China, Rome, and Prague, and at a Florida cruise port. USA Today says, “The new machines range in size from a step stool to a turnstile. Some use electromagnetic fields to detect metal. Others use chemical sensors to detect explosives.”

The TSA plans to order 100 machines next year.

Is it me, or does this seem like a lot of money, time, and effort to expend in the circumvention of an unpopular security procedure? Or is the shoes-off policy so obnoxious that any way to be rid of it is worth trying? Leave a comment below with your thoughts. Thanks!

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