Is A Shoe Scanner Coming Soon to an Airport Near You?

Let’s hope the answer to this question is Yes! According to an article in the New American, TSA Will Now Scan Your Shoes at the Airport. Don’t get excited if your next trip through airport security is tomorrow, next week or maybe not even next year. The Transportation Security Administration is only in the initial stages of seeking proposals from companies who can manufacture a Shoe Scanning Device (SSD). But hey, it’s definitely a step in the right direction!


And if we travelers have our wish list of requirements for these SSD’s, they would be:

  • Can scan boots, shoes with buckles, sneakers – any type of footwear. This was a challenge with the machines tested a couple of years ago. Any metal in the shoes and, after waiting in line to step on the machines, you now had to remove your shoes.
  • Quick to scan. Step on, get a green light within 3 seconds and go!
  • Simple to use. One clear instruction for all. No questions like “are these shoes scannable or are they not?”
  • Set up directly before you go through the x-ray machine. No separate long line for shoe-scanning.
  • A machine in every security lane. No picking-and-choosing necessary to try to get into the one lane with the machine.
  • No (or very, very few) false positives that cause your shoes to be confiscated.
  • And most importantly, can detect all the knives, explosives and other flight-threatening materials that are very often seen in shoes, according to my source at TSA Headquarters.

So keep a watch out for more news on the anticipated Shoe Scanning Devices.

In the meantime, I’ll need to figure out a new strategy for selecting which security line I’ll get into. My current scheme involves looking at people’s feet. When I look down and see many pairs of boots and sneakers in front of me, I look to the next lane for more slip-on shoes and flip-flops (which in my home airport of Orlando, are seen a lot).

Let’s hope the TSA’s shopping is successful and speedy.

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