TSA announces opening of new automated screening checkpoints at Kennedy Airport

TSA announces opening of new automated screening checkpoints at Kennedy Airport

Travelers at Kennedy Airport can now fly through new automated screening checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday.

The lanes include a series of improvements to make the frequently frustratingly slow process speed up, including larger bins to handle roller bags and a system that allows multiple passengers to put their items in the tubs at the same time.

Two new automated lanes are currently operating in Terminal 2 and another four in Terminal 4, officials said. All told, there will be 17 faster lanes installed over the next few weeks throughout the airport, according to the TSA.

The new checkpoints have automated conveyor belts that move the bins into the x-ray machines and right back to the front of the queue.

Also, any carry-on that triggers an alarm due to some potential threat will be immediately separated from the regular line to avoid a major backup.

“There has been a significant improvement,” said Hussein Berry, Delta’s Vice President of Airport Operation at JFK Airport. “We are happy to see the early results.”

Two new automated lanes are currently operating in Terminal 2 and another four in Terminal 4, officials said.

Some passengers in Terminal 4 agreed.

“It was really quick,” said Daniel Lewis, 42, who is visiting New York from Tucson. “It took me 10 minutes to get through. The bigger bins seem really nice. You can fit a lot of stuff in them. Things slid pretty nicely."

“It seems to be running smoothly,” said Mary Corbett, from Ohio. “It’s a lot quicker than it was before. I’m impressed with the amount of people they were able to move fairly quickly."

Not every passenger was on board with the checkpoint changes.

"I don’t like the new system at all," said James Rosenwald, 30, who divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. "This is probably the longest I’ve seen this line."

The new checkpoints have automated conveyor belts that move the bins into the x-ray machines and right back to the front of the queue.

But he wasn’t giving up hope.

"It doesn’t seem like the staff knows what they’re doing," he said. "Maybe it’s a learning curve. We can always give them the benefit of the doubt. Personally I don’t think they were ready to launch this."

The new checkpoints are already in use at Newark International Airport (17 lanes), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (22 lanes), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (five lanes) and Los Angeles International Airport (eight lanes).

As for overall wait times at JFK Airport, travelers were faced with 11 to 20 minute delays at the checkpoints throughout most of the airport on Wednesday, according to ifly.com, which tracks the times.

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