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Toronto Pearson Airport tests new security portal to detect weapons

A HEXWAVE security portal is seen in this undated photograph provided by Liberty Defense. A HEXWAVE security portal is seen in this undated photograph provided by Liberty Defense.

A new security portal is being tested at Toronto Pearson International Airport over the next two weeks.

The walk-through scanner was developed by Liberty Defense, a security company whose mission is to identify concealed weapons in high-traffic areas, and will be tested in multiple areas of the airport starting Tuesday.

Pearson is the first airport in Canada to test the new system.

The portal uses a technology called HEXWAVE, which involves 3D radar imaging and low frequency radio signals to detect and identify metallic and non-metallic concealed weapons and other threats.

Individuals walking through these scanners will not have to remove any clothing or empty their pockets. The analysis also occurs in real time—those passing through the portal will either see a green light and be allowed to proceed, or a red light indicating a potential threat.

Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense, told CTV News Toronto back in February the system can differentiate between personal items such as a cell phone, wallet, or a set of keys, and a threatening object such as a knife, gun or pipe bomb.

“What we do is we're able to detect any type of threat,” he said. “We're really looking at any type of anomaly that shouldn't be on the body.”

He added there is also no safety or privacy issues with the scan.

“We're just taking a reflection of the body.”

In a news release issued Tuesday, Frain said HEXWAVE will provide an additional layer of security at airports, especially at entrances and other airport perimeters.

“We are thrilled to be working with the (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) as it continues to take an innovative and forward-looking approach to security and customer experience,’ he said in a statement.

HEXWAVE is also being tested at a major U.S. international airport, a Major League Baseball stadium, a university and a Hindu temple. Top Stories

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