Few post-9/11 airport security measures are more reviled than the cumbersome requirement that passengers remove their shoes before passing through a metal detector. But those shoe checks could eventually go the way of bin Laden, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Speaking at a Politico breakfast forum on Tuesday, Napolitano predicted that the shoe removal rule could disappear in the coming months, although she said a separate rule limiting the amount of liquid passengers can carry to three ounces will likely stay in place.
We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen, Napolitano told Politico's Mike Allen. I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things you will [see] is the reduction or limitation on liquids.
Tech Advances Noted
Napolitano said that advances in technology would allow airport security officials to assess potential threats lurking in footwear without passengers removing their shoes, although she declined to provide specifics. Technology that can distinguish dangerous liquids from, say, shampoo, is farther away, she said.
Napolitano also said agencies at all levels of government are stepping up security in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, although she said there's no evidence of a specific threat.
Many, many things have already been put in place not because there's a specific, credible threat but we want Sunday to be a day of commemoration and remembrances and we want it to be safe, she said. Not just DHS-a lot of other agencies in the federal government state and local governments are really leaning forward to make sure we're as safe and secure [as] we can be.