12/17/2014 11:21 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST

NEXUS Card Holders, Trusted Travellers To Have Easier Time At Airports: Lisa Raitt

TORONTO - Travelling to the United States by air will be easier for some Canadian passengers, thanks to a new federal government initiative unveiled Wednesday.

NEXUS card holders and other low-risk trusted travellers who have already undergone extensive background checks will have access to dedicated screening lines at four of the country's busiest airports, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said.

The trusted travellers include members of the Canadian and American armed forces, uniformed airline crews and members of the U.S. Global Entry travel program.

The dedicated screening lines are now available at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal airports and eligible travellers can go through them without having to remove their shoes, belts, hats or jackets.

They will also be allowed to keep liquids, aerosols and gels in their carry-on bags.

In addition, upgraded NEXUS kiosks will provide faster, more reliable and efficient service.

Raitt said the new measures would improve passenger convenience while still maintaining aviation security.

"So, if we have this alternative line that passengers who are trusted travellers can use, all passengers will then be able to move through security more quickly," she said.

"It is a smart way of dealing with lineups."

Raitt also announced the launch of a new portal that will provide tips, including information about border wait times.

The NEXUS program, which lets pre-approved travellers cross the Canada–U.S. border quickly, has more than 1.1 million members.

On the web: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/holiday-travel

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