You've waited close to a half-hour to get to the front of the airport's security checkpoint. You're finally there, but the passenger in front of you couldn't be moving any slower.

Wouldn't you like to jump in front of them and just get moving already?

With new "automated security screening lanes" launched Tuesday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport, that would be possible.

The TSA and United Airlines deployed two of these lanes in Terminal C. In total, 17 of these enhanced lanes will greet United riders when installation wraps up.

"We figure that this entire process will decrease the time that travelers spend in the security screening line by up to 30 percent," said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

Among the changes is a revamped front-of-the-line scheme that allows up to five passengers to load their carry-on items into the bins and on the conveyor belts at the same time.

"Also, those bins are about 25 percent larger than the bins you might see in a standard screening lane," Farbstein added.

Shaving off some precious seconds are automated conveyor belts that draw your bins into the X-ray machines and return the bins back to the front of the queue after you've completed the process. Security agents no longer have to ship carts of bins themselves, freeing them to focus on more important screening tasks.

Farbstein said increased security measures will also get the process moving much faster when an illegal or suspicious item is discovered. Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are attached to each bin and color photographs of each bin's contents are linked side-by-side to the X-ray image.

"We expect to have a few more of these lanes before the end of this year, and we'll continue to install them and get them up and running in the weeks ahead," Farbstein said.

Identical lanes were installed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at


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