TSA, United jointly launch automated screening checkpoint lanes at Newark

Local Press Release
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NEWARK – The Transportation Security Administration and United Airlines jointly launched new automated security screening lanes at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), introducing state-of-the-art checkpoint technology to the New York City region before the busy holiday travel season. The automated screening lanes incorporate technology that enhances security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security screening by up to 30 percent.

TSA and United Airlines deployed the first of 17 automated screening lanes to EWR Airport today.  The additional lanes will be installed and in use in the weeks ahead. In addition to the new automated screening lanes at Newark, United and TSA opened automated screening lanes in Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month.

“Our main priority is to protect passengers traveling out of Newark Liberty in an evolving threat environment,” said TSA’s New Jersey Federal Security Director Thomas Carter. “TSA continues to deploy state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that we remain current. Collaborating with United Airlines has been an important step in enhancing the traveler experience here at Newark while always maintaining effective security.”

“As the first and only U.S.-based airline to launch automated screening lanes in multiple airports, United continues its commitment to using the latest technology to meet the changing needs of our customers and improve the airport experience,” said Greg Hart, United’s executive vice president and chief operations officer.

The new automated screening lanes offer several features designed to improve the screening of travelers by automating many of the functions previously conducted manually, which allows travelers to move more swiftly and efficiently through the checkpoint. These innovations include:

  • Stainless steel countertops that were constructed to enable several passengers to place their items in bins simultaneously;
  • Automated conveyor belts that draw bins into the X-ray machines, and returns the bins back to the front of the queue for passengers;
  • Carry-on bags that trigger an alarm warning of a potential threat that are automatically pushed to a separate area to allow bins behind it to continue through the screening process uninterrupted;
  • Property bins that are 25 percent larger than the bins in standard screening lanes that are large enough to hold roller bags;
  • Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that are attached to each bin to allow for additional accountability of a traveler’s items as they transit throughout the security process; and
  • Cameras that capture photographic images of the contents of each bin, which are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image of a bag’s contents.

TSA continues to collaborate with vendors, airlines, airports, and across the counter-terrorism community to roll out additional automated checkpoint lanes to improve the screening process as well as help minimize wait times. TSA’s long-term goal is to incorporate enhanced capabilities at checkpoint lanes throughout the country.

“Our responsibility remains keeping passengers safe while also moving through security as efficiently as possible,” Carter said.