Minister of Transport announces pilot for dedicated Verified Traveller lines coming soon to Ottawa International Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport
June 27, 2023 Ottawa Transport Canada
The air sector plays a crucial role in connecting Canadians across the country and to the world, and helps create good, middle-class jobs to build an economy that works for everyone. The Government of Canada is continuously working to improve the security screening process to ensure travellers are able to have a quick and efficient travel journey, while ensuring the highest standards of security to keep Canadians safe.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will soon be launching a pilot for dedicated Verified Traveller screening lines at Ottawa International Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport by August 23, 2023.
This new pilot will test the feasibility of having dedicated lines open on a daily basis at these airports by opening them during peak periods, while maintaining overall service standards for these checkpoints. This will inform our next steps and help provide a quicker travel journey for passengers moving through the Ottawa and Halifax airports. Outside of these peak periods, a front-of-the-line service would be offered to eligible verified travellers.
Since June 21, 2023, the Verified Traveller program, which has replaced the Trusted Traveller program, has had dedicated lines open to improve the screening experience at the following airports:
- Vancouver International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
- Calgary International Airport
- Winnipeg Richardson International Airport
- Toronto Pearson International Airport T1 and T3
- Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
The new lines provide eligible travellers with select benefits at security screening checkpoints, such as keeping laptops, large electronics and compliant liquids and gels in their carry-on, and keeping shoes, belts and light jackets on. Eligible travellers include:
- Members of NEXUS and Global Entry;
- Active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and US military, including reservists, with valid ID;
- Canadian aircrew (in uniform) and airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Cards;
- International aircrew (in uniform) with valid airline ID; and
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, Canadian police officers and constables with a badge and proper photo identification issued by their respective organizations.
The Verified Traveller program also now allows children who are 17 years of age and younger, and adults who are 75 years of age and older, to accompany verified travellers through security, provided they are on the same reservation.
“I am pleased to announce that the airports in Ottawa and Halifax will soon be joining the other six Canadian airports with dedicated Verified Traveller screening lines, on a pilot basis. As we enter the busy summer travel season, we are working hard to ensure a smooth security screening process for travellers. This new Verified Traveller program will help ease congestion over time and builds on our $1.8 billion investment for CATSA in Budget 2023 to create a safe and smooth passenger experience for all Canadian travellers.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
“CATSA is always seeking ways to improve the air traveller experience. The Verified Traveller program is one way we can do this and we are excited to pilot the program in Ottawa and Halifax as we look to expand this experience for more travellers in more locations.”
President and CEO
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
Budget 2023 is providing $1.8 billion over five years, starting in 2023-24, to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to maintain and increase its level of service, improve screening wait times, and strengthen security measures at airports.
Budget 2023 funding seeks to improve CATSA’s wait-time-service-levels, particularly at peak periods, without compromising aviation security.
Funding will also be used to enhance the security of Canada’s non-passenger screening program and to support CATSA’s ability to meet increased demand as passenger volumes grow.
To learn more about NEXUS membership, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.
Several airports will also offer verified travellers with front-of-the-line service and additional benefits at transborder checkpoints (flights to the U.S.). For more information and a list of airports, visit CATSA’s website.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
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