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Canada introduces new airport traveller verification program

Canada introduces new airport traveller verification program

Canada’s aviation security authority is launching a new program to reduce how long it takes passengers to pass through airport screening processes without reducing security.

The new Verified Travellers program, operated by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA),  is available to people who carry a range of special photo ID cards related to travel. Those include members of the NEXUS and Global Entry programs, military and aviation personnel, and Canadian police.

The government has earmarked approximately CA$1.8 billion (roughly US$1.34 billion) over the next five years for the project in Canada’s 2023 budget proposal, according to a government announcement.

The agency describes three different sets of benefits Canadians participating in the program will experience when passing through screening checkpoints. Participating travellers can leave more items in their carry-on luggage and remove less articles of clothing and personal effects during screening,

The program will replace the Canada’s ‘Trusted Traveller’ program, going live by June 21, 2023 at Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Montreal-Trudeau International Airports, as well as Toronto-Pearson International Terminals 1 and 3.

A ‘front-of-the-line’ service is also part of the program, and operates at the above airports plus a handful of others across the country.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the program will “help combat congestion at our airports,” while improving the security screening process for travellers.

“CATSA values its partnership with Transport Canada and airport authorities across Canada,” says CATSA President and CEO Nada Semaan. “Their support and collaboration in the implementation of an improved passenger experience through the new Verified Traveller program is instrumental to improving security-screening services for all passengers.”

Canadian airports are digitizing rapidly, with Regina International Airport and Region of Waterloo International Airport each adding check-in and self-bag drop systems from SITA.

The kiosks and self-service stations do not appear to include biometric capabilities, the announcement say they will make it easier to integrate contactless processes and biometrics in the future.

Three other Canadian airports announced adoption of the same systems from SITA last year.

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