New automated security lanes open at Newark Liberty Airport

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Travelers flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport this holiday weekend may be getting through security screenings quicker than expected.

The Transportation Security Administration and Chicago-based United Airlines have opened four new automated screening lanes to help speed traffic at the checkpoints in Terminal C. Two of the lanes opened Tuesday, while the other two started operating Wednesday.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said new technology at the lanes will cut the time travelers spend in security screening by as much as 30 percent. She said the new lanes are the first to appear at airports in the New York City region.

Seventeen new lanes overall are planned at Newark Liberty airport, which handles about 35 million passengers a year. The remaining lanes should be installed in the near future.

Officials said the new lanes offer more counter space, meaning more passengers will be able to load items onto conveyor belts. Farbstein said the standard lanes allow only one passenger at a time to do so.

The bins at the new lanes are 25 percent larger than those in standard screening lanes, so passengers can put bigger bags or more items into them to be screened at once.

Automated checkpoints are set up so that suspicious bags are pulled away for more scrutiny, keeping other bags on the conveyer belt moving. They also have a conveyer belt to return empty bins to the beginning of the line.