Poorly performed airway management procedures can lead to a wide variety of adverse events, such as laryngeal trauma, stenosis, cardiac arrest, hypoxemia, or death as in the case of failed airway management or intubation of the esophagus. Current methods for confirming tracheal placement, such as auscultation, direct visualization or capnography, may be subjective, compromised due to clinical presentation or require additional specialized equipment that is not always readily available during the procedure. Consequently, there exists a need for a non-visual detection mechanism for confirming successful airway placement that can give the provider rapid feedback during the procedure. Based upon our previously presented work characterizing the reflectance spectra of tracheal and esophageal tissue, we developed a fiber-optic prototype to detect the unique spectral characteristics of tracheal tissue. Device performance was tested by its ability to differentiate ex vivo samples of tracheal and esophageal tissue. Pig tissue samples were tested with the larynx, trachea and esophagus intact as well as excised and mounted on cork. The device positively detected tracheal tissue 18 out of 19 trials and 1 false positive out of 19 esophageal trials. Our proof of concept device shows great promise as a potential mechanism for rapid user feedback during airway management procedures to confirm tracheal placement. Ongoing studies will investigate device optimizations of the probe for more refined sensing and in vivo testing.