Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced a new initiative this morning aimed at reducing the number of low-risk travellers in security lineups for flights to the United States.
Effective immediately, "trusted travellers" at the international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver will have a separate designated screening line to pass through, which should help speed the transfer of all passengers.
Nexus card holders already have this option, but the government and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority have expanded the definition of trusted traveller to include not only Nexus card holders, but also Global Entry members, uniformed air crews and members of the Canadian and U.S. armed forces.
Trusted travellers will not be required to remove clothing such as coats, hats, belts or shoes, and they can keep permitted liquids in carry-on luggage, said Raitt.
The central idea is to reduce the number of passengers going through standard screening lines so that non-Nexus card holders and those who do not qualify as trusted travellers under the new program can move through security more quickly.
The expanded system applies only to travel to the U.S. The new steps were facilitated by the Beyond the Border Action Plan — an agreement signed between Canada and the U.S. in 2011 aimed harmonizing the benefits to Nexus card holders on both sides of the border.
In addition to designated lineups, next-generation trusted traveller kiosks will be introduced wherever Nexus kiosks are currently available, including at the international airports in:- Toronto (Both Pearson and Billy Bishop airport).
Some of these next-generation kiosks have already been installed at some of the airports listed above.
The federal government has also introduced a new website, Canada.ca/holidaytravel, where Canadians can go to access a travel toolkit. Travellers can find information such as vaccination advice and border wait times. The website has information for all travel, international and domestic, Raitt said.
Raitt made the announcement at Toronto Pearson International Airport.