Airport Screenings May Soon Abolish Shoe Removal Requirement
Ever since infamous “shoe bomber” Richard Reid tried — and failed — to blow up a plane by igniting explosives in his shoes during a 2001 flight, travelers have been forced to remove footwear for screening when going through airport security.
But according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, that time-worn tradition may soon fall to the wayside.
“We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen. I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on,” she recently said.
However, restrictions on liquids passengers can carry on flights will remain in place for the foreseeable future, since Napolitano said the technology allowing screeners to distinguish harmless liquids from explosives still needs work.
Regardless, Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, is pleased. Her group of about 50,000 members has been asking to have the shoe-removal requirement abolished for years.
“It’s about time,” she said. “I’ve always hated taking off my shoes more than any other part of the screening.”