New 3D scanners will find weapons on travellers who use Mississauga’s Pearson Airport

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Published February 22, 2022 at 3:00 pm

Security officials at Pearson Airport in Mississauga will soon have another high-tech tool with which to spot concealed guns and other weapons on travellers.

The technology, known as Hexwave, uses portals that detect any anomalies as passengers move through the device. The portals can reportedly spot both metallic or non-metallic objects, so travellers don’t have to remove keys and coins from their pockets.

Using 3D radar imaging and artificial intelligence, Hexwave picks up on anything suspicious faster than the metal-detecting systems currently being used at airports around the world.

Hexwave, initially planned for a 2020 unveiling at Pearson Airport, will instead go live as early as July on a trial basis.

Pearson will be the first airport in the world to use this specific walk-through security technology.

Airport officials don’t expect the new equipment to replace the larger metal detectors and X-ray luggage scanners, but only to provide another tool to detect weapons.

Additionally, Hexwave is expected to streamline the security process as possible threats can be identified before reaching main security checkpoints.

“It enables security teams to detect these threats at the perimeter of a property without obstructing the movement of large groups of people,” Hexwave creators said in an earlier news release. “Hexwave enables a layered defence strategy, which provides security teams with more time to manage threats.”

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, said earlier that it’s “committed to a proactive security philosophy that stays ahead of emerging threats across our aviation infrastructure to minimize risk for passengers, employees and property.”

GTAA officials add that they “track emerging technologies with the goal of balancing our operational security needs with overall customer service” to make moving through the airport a positive experience.

The company behind the technology says it will not retain images of travellers and the equipment only displays people as “figures” or “outlines” to airport staffers.

Hexwave technology has been used at several other Canadian venues, including the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

 

 

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