Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 3, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Thursday, February 3, 2011
Changes to airport security will increase traveler convenience
Flying is about to get easier.
The federal government announced Thursday changes to airport screening that will enhance traveler convenience.
Travelers can now bring small scissors and tools no longer than 6 cm with them in carry-on baggage.
It’s part of an effort to reduce traveler hassle at airports and the frustration caused by airport security measures.
“All of this has not been easy on passengers. All of us understand the importance of security at our airports but it is a process that is more tolerated than enjoyed,” Chuck Strahal, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities said at a press conference on Thursday.
“The ultimate purpose is to achieve the best balance of aviation security and passenger convenience and I believe we’ve made strives towards achieving that goal.”
Knives of any length are still banned.
Strahl also said there will be changes to speed up the screening process, including the creation of new lines for families and for frequent travellers.
A new bag checking system is also planned to speed up the security screening process.
The changes come after a recently completed review of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
“We’re announcing changes to CATSA to speed up passenger screening and improving passenger convenience. Over the coming months Canada will start to see lines dedicated especially for families at all of our major airports. These lines have special equipment designed for bigger items like strollers. It will reduce hassle and improve convenience for the traveling public,” said Rob Merrifield, minister of state, transport.
The new changes are expected to increase passenger screening time by 30%.
“This can only make it better,” said Ben Mulder, who was at the Edmonton International Airport with his wife and baby on Thursday.
“It’ll make it more positive. Nobody wants to stand in a line for an hour waiting to make sure you don’t have nail clippers or something like that.”
The approval of certain small tools come after recent developments in aircrafts themselves, like reinforced cockpit doors, improved aircrew security training, and the presence of in-flight security officers and programs like Passenger Protect.
Regulations on acceptable carry-on items have shifted back and forth in recent years in response to attempts by terrorists to circumvent security systems.