Shoe Scanner OK'd for Airports

The U.S. government approved new technology that will automatically scan shoes and boots for bombs.

The other companies competing for Registered Traveler contracts also promise to buy advanced screening equipment once it is approved for use by the TSA.

Unisys Corp., which has signed up the airport in Reno, Nev., is considering buying the shoe scanners but is also looking at backscatter technology, which the TSA is testing in Phoenix. Backscatter is an X-ray that can see through clothing to detect threatening objects that might be hidden. This technology should allow passengers to keep shoes and jackets on as they pass through security.

A third major player is Saflink Corp., which hasn't yet won an airport contract. It is focusing on building relationships with charitable groups, universities, professional sports teams and trade associations that would offer the company's card, called Fast Lane Option, at a discount or as a fundraising device for the group.

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