Funding and reforms for screening a positive move for air travellers

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Canada’s airports on March 19 welcomed the Government of Canada’s commitment in Budget 2019 to invest in improving security screening at Canada’s airports for the coming government fiscal year, and looks forward to discussions with government on a new corporate structure for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

CATSA Plus line
The CATSA Plus line at Montreal-Trudeau airport. Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Photo

Canada’s airports have sought permanent structural changes to how CATSA is funded on an ongoing basis, for it to be accountable to service standards and its funding more responsive to growing passenger volumes. In Budget 2019, the federal government pledged additional funding for CATSA screening for this year, and indicated it will introduce legislation to transition CATSA to an independent, not-for-profit entity.

“Keeping people and goods moving is essential to business and trade flow. Air travellers deserve safe and comfortable journeys through Canada’s airports, and that means being able to go through security screening in a timely and professional manner,” said CAC president Daniel-Robert Gooch. “Canada’s airports have long called for structural reforms to normalize CATSA’s funding structure, to ensure the organization is able to better plan long term and serve the needs of travellers well into the future. As is so often the case, there are many details to be worked out to ensure the transition to a new model is successful, and improves service to travellers while maintaining the high security standards we have today.”

Canada’s airports and major air carriers have sought a service level commitment for screening that would see 95 per cent of originating passengers at the eight largest airports screened in under 10 minutes, even quicker standards for connecting passengers, and with no passenger waiting more than 20 minutes at any CATSA screening point.

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