The TSA is well aware that the removal of shoes is not our most popular policy. In fact, it probably ranks up there with root canals and doing your taxes.
What you’ve seen up until now has been our officers enforcing an unpopular policy that is based on the unfortunate truth that intelligence tells us that terrorists are still very interested in hiding items in their shoes.
Today, the X-ray is simply the quickest, most effective way to ensure nothing is hidden inside. What you haven’t seen is all the hard work that’s been going on behind the scenes trying to find an alternative. Our experts and the private sector have been looking for ways to screen footwear while allowing passengers to keep their shoes on for quite some time.
Last year, TSA tested a shoe scanner from General Electric in Orlando. Today, we’re testing shoe scanning technology at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from L3 Communications. If all goes well, these tests could lead the way to quelling of one of our most unpopular policies.