Toronto Pearson Airport set to use AI-powered portals to detect weapons


Toronto Pearson Airport is about to get a whole lot safer.

It was just announced that Canada’s busiest airport has increased its security infrastructure with an artificial intelligence-powered security system that can suss out concealed weapons and other threats.

Hexwave is a system in which travellers walk through screening portals that use 3D imaging and AI tech to detect and identify dangerous or prohibited items, giving airport security agents a little extra backup.

It will also be a huge time saver as passengers won’t need to stop and remove keys, phones, wallets and other items from pockets while passing through the scanners.

The portals also protect passengers’ privacy by not retaining images, and displays people as a “standardized outline” to airport employees.

Hexwave, which comes from Liberty Defense, a leading technology provider of AI-based detection solutions, uses radio frequency/millimetre-wave sensing, versus the traditional way of measuring magnetic fields, allowing it to identify both metal and non-metal objects such as pipe bombs, powders and 3D-printed guns.

Pearson, the sixth-most-connected airport in the world, was the first airport in the world to test the walkthrough security portals during a trial period in 2022.

Dwayne MacIntosh, Director, Corporate Safety and Security, GTAA, called it an “innovative solution” that will be another cog in the airport security measures.

The system won’t be replacing metal detectors and baggage scanners; rather, Hexwave will serve as another line of defence to help streamline security operations.

“The Hexwave is planned to act as an additional layer of security at airports, extending the perimeter of the screened area to include the entrance to the airport itself,” said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense.

The portals may be a first of its kind at airports but the Hexwave has previously been tested at a Major League Baseball stadium, a U.S. university and one of the largest Hindu temples in North America.

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