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airport security

Travel Tip of the Week

When passing through airport security, put anything valuable and visible, like a laptop or iPad, on the conveyer belt last so it doesn’t get to the other side of the X-ray long before you do, leaving it sitting out for anyone to grab.

Give us your tips! Add a comment below or let us know on Twitter @wherecanada: #wherecanadatips.

Best Canadian Airport Security Catches…and Biggest Fails


Photo: kenpower

To bolster Canadians’ confidence in air travel, CATSA recently issued a press release tooting its own horn, pinpointing its top security catches of 2011. We countered that with a few not-so-impressive misses of the past year.

To be fair, though, not all of them can be attributed to CATSA. And happily, we found nothing in recent Canadian history quite as shocking as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s failure to notice an undeclared, loaded .38-calibur handgun in December (discovered by airline crew only after it fell out of a duffel bag being loaded onto a plane).


Re-entry to Canada at Airports About to Get Quicker and Easier

Customs lineup at Vancouver International Airport before installation of new Automated Border Clearance kiosks (Photo: Dennis S. Hurd)

A pilot program rolled out Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in 2010 allowing faster screening times for Canadians (and Canadian permanent residents) returning to Canada has been deemed a success, despite early misgivings, and is now being rolled out to other Canadian airports, the Canada Border Services Agency announced Friday.


Patience at Pearson: With 20 Per Cent Less Airport Security, Longer Waits a Sure Bet

Some 300 security screeners at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport are being laid off or having their hours cut, effective January 25. (more…)

Easier Canada-US Border Crossings in 2012

Some travellers will be able to bypass lineups like this (at Toronto's Pearson airport) in 2012.
Photo by Roozbeh Rokni.

By Amanda Yiu

Canada and the US are taking steps to streamline border crossings for people, goods and services across their shared border via two key initiatives. (more…)

Are Easier Airport Check-Ins on the Horizon?

Photo by Kenpower

By Carissa Bluestone

Although registered traveller programs are still often met with cynicism and suspicion, several organizations are moving forward to use these schemes as a basis for streamlining airport security.

The International Airport Transit Association (IATA), an organization that includes most major airlines worldwide—including Air Canada and Air Transat—has been working on Checkpoint of the Future (CoF), a “risk-based approach supported by advanced technology to allow passengers to move through the checkpoint without stopping, unpacking or disrobing”.

CoF divides flyers into three categories: normal, enhanced and known traveller. The latter group must submit to full background checks through established registered traveller programs. The determination between normal and enhanced will be made using customs and immigration info that is already collected and stored in the course of processing typical travel documents. The IATA thinks this system could be fully realized in seven years, with parts of it implemented sooner.

In the US, the Transportation Security Agency has started testing its PreCheck program—which allows expedited screening to US citizens and have passed background checks—in four cities: Miami, Detroit, Dallas and Atlanta. That’s a pretty exclusive test group, but if the program is successful it will be implemented elsewhere and is the type of program that could intersect with IATA’s initiative.