NEWARK - The hassle of getting through security checkpoints at Newark Liberty International Airport is about to get easier for travelers with special approval.
The standard drill normally includes taking off shoes, belts and coats, as well as pulling out laptops, liquids and gels. The Transportation Security Administration says it's putting fewer fliers through all that bother with the addition last December of four new lanes in Terminal C for passengers with PreCheck status.
This week, the agency opened a PreCheck enrollment center on Raymond Boulevard in Newark, where applicants provide fingerprints and proof of identity before they can be approved.
"It's a very popular program for passengers because of its convenience," says TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. "Basically it allows us to pay more attention to passengers we know less about because people in the TSA PreCheck program have provided us more personal information about themselves."
With the shift toward risk-based screening, TSA estimates that 25 percent of fliers out of Newark Airport get some form of expedited screening. As more people enroll in TSA PreCheck, that percentage is expected to go up.
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Glenn McDonald, from Colorado, is enrolled and says life in the fast lane is good. "It could save you a half an hour sometimes," he says. "Especially when you're connecting or you're late to get through, it's a real blessing."
Enrollment is $85 and lasts five years. Un-enrolled passengers can get the PreCheck treatment if they're chosen at random.
For an extended interview with Lisa Farbstein, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.