Today is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). A Crown corporation created as part of the Government of Canada’s response to the events of September 11, 2001, CATSA protects the public through effective and efficient screening of all air travelers and their baggage, and all airport personnel requiring access to secured areas at Canada’s 89 designated airports.
On this day, 20 years ago, the CATSA Act came into force and CATSA became responsible for several core aviation security functions in Canada, including ensuring consistency in the delivery of assigned security screening services. Over the past two decades, CATSA has worked closely with its regulator, Transport Canada, and other industry partners to ensure the highest level of security while providing the best possible passenger experience.
“CATSA was established by a team of very talented and dedicated people, and it shows in what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past 20 years,” said Michael Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of CATSA. “A tremendous amount of work has gone into developing new programs and initiatives to keep air travelers secure during that time. I’m proud of the resolve, ingenuity, creativity and hard work that our employees have continually demonstrated, especially over the last two years, and I have no doubt this will serve us well as we continue to secure and support the Canadian air travel industry.”
“CATSA’s success has been built on a foundation of strong partnerships, insightful strategic direction and good governance,” said Marguerite Nadeau, Chairperson of CATSA’s Board of Directors. “The critical importance of our partnerships is reflected in the composition of our Board, which includes members from the airline and airport industries. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to enhance public confidence and trust in CATSA. On behalf of the Board, congratulations to all of CATSA’s employees and the front-line screening personnel on reaching this significant milestone.”
“For the past 20 years, CATSA has played a crucial role in safeguarding the security of air passengers. As CATSA continues to deliver its mandate, the Government of Canada remains committed to a transportation system that is safe and secure and will continue to collaborate with CATSA to this end.” said the Minister of Transport, the Honorable Omar Alghabra.
As it marks its 20th anniversary, CATSA also acknowledges the critical contributions of screening personnel and service providers across the country in carrying out its mission. A shared ongoing commitment to professionalism and operational excellence, along with CATSA’s continued focus on innovative technologies and processes, will ensure the highest level of security for the travelling public, today and in the years ahead.
CATSA is responsible for the delivery of four mandated activities:
- Pre-board screening: The screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their belongings prior to their entry to the secure area of an air terminal building.
- Hold baggage screening: The screening of passengers’ checked (or hold) baggage for prohibited items such as explosives, prior to it being loaded onto an aircraft.
- Non-passenger screening: The screening of non-passengers and their belongings, including vehicles, entering restricted areas of the aerodrome at the highest risk airports. Non-passengers include CATSA personnel, screening officers, flight and cabin crews, airline customer service personnel, baggage handlers, vendors and other airport employees.
- Restricted area identity card (RAIC): The system which uses iris and fingerprint biometric identifiers to allow non-passengers access to the restricted areas of airports. The final authority that determines access to the restricted areas of an airport is the airport authority.