Setback in U.S. airport shoe scanners
Aug 27,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - Development of a device that scans air travelers' shoes without requiring removal has hit a glitch and sent back to the drawing board, USA Today reported.

The ShoeScanner is being developed by GE Security and in recent tests, "security deficiencies" were found in consistently detecting weapons and bomb parts in shoes, Transportation Security Administration chief Kip Hawley told the newspaper.

However, he called the $200,000 devices "very promising technology" and said the agency hadn't given up on it. The system also includes a sensor that detects explosives on people's fingertips.

In tests at Orlando (Fla.) International Airport that began in January, Hawley said the TSA added some backup security measures, which he said were "labor-intensive" for screeners and makes mass deployment of the ShoeScanner unrealistic, the report said.

Steve Hill, a spokesman for GE Security, said the company is optimistic recent improvements will meet TSA standards, the newspaper said.

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