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In December 2001, a terrorist attempt to blow up a US-bound American Airlines flight was thwarted after explosives were detected in the shoes of a British-national Al Qaeda terrorist. 

Following the incident, some airlines encouraged passengers departing from an airport in the United States to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet while their shoes are scanned for bombs.

A new technology now tested in a Japanese airport is designed to screen passengers’ shoes automatically. The trial operation of shoe screening equipment will commence in Narita International Airport (NRT) in Japan. The new devices will be deployed and tested for automatically spotting banned items without the need for passengers to take off their shoes.

The new equipment will enhance security screening, decrease personal contact, reduce the workload on security personnel and improve their working environment.

The airport has incorporated several counter infection measures while conducting security screening. 

Last April, NRT expanded its international departure screening checkpoints and installed modern security screening lanes and screening equipment while introducing Smart Security to increase the processing capacity by 50%.

Smart Security is a new concept promoted by Airports Council International (ACI) in connection with security screening that ensures productivity and comfort.

The airport has deployed X-ray scanning equipment with advanced explosives detection features and body scanners. Some of the X-ray equipment also features artificial intelligence (AI) technology for programmed threat detection, as reported by