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Pass through security easily, Know what to put in the bins

Security check

Every passenger passing through Canada's airports must go through security, including following the following steps:

  1. Make sure you have your boarding pass ready to present for verification. You may be required to show photo identification.

  2. Place your personal belongings in bins. Visit our What should I put in the bins page? for advice.

  3. Send your bins and carry-on bags through the x-ray machine. Check out How to Pack Your Carry-on Baggage to make this process easier.

  4. Go through the metal detection gate .

Once the process is complete, you can collect your luggage from the x-ray machine. You can speed up the screening process by learning about carry-on baggage restrictions and knowing what to wear so you don't set off the alarm at the metal detector. Additional or separate inspection of a particular item At times, additional or separate inspection of a particular item is required in addition to the above:

  • Additional control

  • Detection of traces of explosives (sampling)

  • Sacred and spiritual objects

  • Headgear control

NOTICEIncreased control measures for electronic devices. Passengers will always be randomly selected for additional screening. This additional control now includes electronic devices. If chosen, you will be required to remove the device from the case before inspection and may be required to show that the device can be turned on. Before you leave, you should:

  • check that your device's case can be easily removed or remove the case in advance.

  • Check that all your electronic devices are charged and can be turned on .

Note : Electronic devices that cannot be removed from their case or turned on at the time of screening will not be permitted past the checkpoint. Additional screening If you trigger an alarm at the metal detector or your baggage triggers an alarm on the x-ray machine, or you or your baggage is randomly selected , you may be required to undergo additional screening. This control may include in particular:

  • a search carried out by a control officer using a hand-held device to detect the presence of metal objects;

  • a partial or complete manual search (palpation) of your person;

  • a partial or complete manual search of your carry-on baggage;

  • a body x-ray using a body scanner ;

  • a sample using the detection of traces of explosives

Random Selection for Further Screening Searches as part of random selection for further screening are legislated requirements at all major Canadian airports. Random selection helps us ensure the highest possible level of safety. It builds unpredictability into the selection process and ensures an unbiased selection process. This is a globally respected practice that is consistent with our international obligations to enhance and protect security while causing minimal interference or delays to air travel. Explosive Trace Detection (Sampling) CATSA uses Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) as a security measure. Therefore, screening officers may take a sample from your carry-on baggage, clothing, shoes or laptop. When a personal ETD is required, the screening officer will take a swab from your hands, waist area and feet (or shoes), and then use ETD technology to check for the presence of explosives . Certain items and passengers require DTE testing, including passengers who:

  • are selected randomly

  • wear casts and large medical bandages or dressings

  • wears prostheses or orthotics

  • wear implanted medical devices

  • are traveling with live animals (including service animals)

If a sample needs to be taken for DTE purposes, you can request to be checked in a private search room. Sacred and spiritual objects

  • We recommend avoiding placing fragile or delicate items in your checked baggage.

  • Screening staff have been instructed to treat sacred and spiritual objects with care and respect, and to check them without holding or touching them.

  • Before the screening process begins, tell the screening officer that you are carrying a sacred or spiritual object and indicate

    • if the object cannot be touched;

    • whether there is a particular protocol for handling the object;

    • if the object cannot be controlled by fluoroscopy;

    • whether the object is to be controlled by a person of a particular gender; And

    • if the object must remain on you during the check.


  • The screening agent will offer you various screening options depending on the nature of the object and your preferences.

  • You can always request that your item be checked in a private search area if that makes you more comfortable.

  • If you are flying within Canada or to an international (non-US) destination, ceremonial knives and sabers (such as kirpans) with blades measuring 6 cm or less are permitted at the pre-board checkpoint. Objects with a blade measuring more than 6 cm must be placed in checked baggage. Objects with blades, regardless of length, are not permitted on flights to the United States. Transport Canada also offers a detailed list of items prohibited on board all flights .

Headgear checks Different screening procedures are applied depending on the destination of your flight. Domestic and international flights:

  • You will be asked to remove non-religious head coverings and place them in a bin for x-ray inspection.

  • If you are wearing a religious head covering, you will be able to keep it, but it will need to be further checked if it triggers an alarm. If the alarm cannot be resolved adequately, you may need to remove your headgear so that a manual search can be conducted. If a manual search is required, it can be carried out in a private room, at your request.


Be sure to check out our tips for stress-free control !




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