Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) will be testing a new security portal over the next two weeks that detects potentially dangerous or prohibited items, including non-metal weapons, like 3D-printed guns, powders or pipe bombs.
The walk-through scanner was developed by Liberty Defense, a security company whose mission is to identify concealed weapons in high-traffic areas, started testing in multiple areas of YYZ on Tuesday (Nov. 1).
Toronto Pearson is the first airport in Canada to test the new security technology, which is called HEXWAVE.
According to a press release, Pearson will conduct voluntary screening in an employee area and a location at the permitter of the airport, including an entrance from the terminal parking garage.
Liberty Defense will use the beta site as an opportunity to further test and train the system to continue improving HEXWAVE’s Artificial Intelligence machine learning algorithms, while also gathering user feedback.
HEXWAVE involves 3D radar imaging and low frequency radio signals to detect and identify metallic and non-metallic concealed weapons and other threatening objects.
“The HEXWAVE’s ability to act as an additional layer of security at airports, extending the perimeter of the secured area to include the entrance to the airport itself, is an advantage,” said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense. “We are thrilled to be working with the GTAA as it continues to take an innovative and forward-looking approach to security and customer experience.”
There is no need to stop and remove keys, cell phones, or other items from pockets while passing through the system, which Liberty Defense says protects privacy by not personalizing image data, and images can never be seen by an operator.
The operator only receives real-time information about threat type and location as people pass through the system.
“The GTAA prioritizes security and keeping ahead of the latest threats,” said Dwayne Macintosh, director of corporate safety and security for the GTAA. “At the same time, we value passenger and staff experience and look to next-generation technology to be able to balance both considerations. We look forward to trialing HEXWAVE and its potential to enhance safety at Toronto Pearson.”
Liberty’s beta trial locations include onsite testing with a major U.S. International airport, a top U.S. airline, a Major League Baseball stadium, a large state university, and one of the largest Hindu temples in North America.
Liberty is also working with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to evaluate HEXWAVE for its expanded detection and throughput capabilities to screen aviation workers at a TSA designated airport in the future.