National Security


If Yahoo's ex-CEO was travelling by plane, she may have had to take off her shoes at airport screening. For those frustrated by that rule, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano suggests there may be an end in sight. Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

WENDY KAUFMAN: Better screening technology will likely spare us from standing on one foot and trying to take our shoes off. But exactly when will that happen?

During a Tuesday breakfast meeting with reporters sponsored by Politico, Homeland Security Chief Napolitano talked about months or even years.

Ms. JANET NAPOLITANO (Department of Homeland Security): I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. And one of the last things you will probably see is a reduction or removing the limitation on liquids.

KAUFMAN: While a number of companies claim to have technology for scanning shoes, it's more difficult to distinguish Coke or a water bottle from explosives.

The comments - the secretary's latest on TSA's screening process - brought a measured response from Geoff Freeman of the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group.

Mr. GEOFF FREEMAN (U.S. Travel Association): First of all, kudos to the TSA, to the Department of Homeland Security, for being interested in what travelers' concerns are. To date, we have not made ridding ourselves of those policies as much of a priority as we need to make it.

KAUFMAN: Freeman firmly believes Americans would fly more if airport security wasn't such a hassle - adding more travel would be a boost for the U.S. economy.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from