Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

August 27, 2009 11:30 ET

CATSA Pilot Project Aims to Enhance Airport Screening

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Aug. 27, 2009) - The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) unveiled a pilot project at Regina International Airport today that could lead to faster and more effective passenger screening. CATSA will test and compare different security checkpoint setups and procedures in the airport's pre-board screening area. The 14-week trial, which started on August 26, will help identify new strategies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of security screening operations.

"CATSA is always looking for ways to enhance the passenger experience by making airport security screening as quick and convenient as possible," said Yves Duguay, Senior Vice-President, Operations, CATSA. "This pre-board screening trial will give us an opportunity to put innovative ideas to the test in real-life situations, and to gather valuable input from screening personnel as well as the travelling public."

In addition to the great spirit of collaboration that exists between CATSA and the Regina Airport Authority (RAA), the airport's pre-board screening configuration also contributed to its selection for the pilot project.

"This further partnering of CATSA and RAA demonstrates and confirms the excellent relationship the two entities already share, said Jim Hunter, President and CEO of the RAA. "We are pleased to have been chosen to participate in this important trial, and we look forward to helping CATSA improve its methods and procedures with an eye to easing the airport security experience for the traveling public."

The pilot project involves four phases, each of which will introduce gradual modifications to two of Regina International Airport's four passenger screening lanes. The changes include new procedures for passengers who set off the metal detector alarm, new pat-down techniques, larger X-ray bins, and different locations and roles for screening personnel.

CATSA will actively engage the passengers during the trial. They will play a key role in the success of the project. Travellers going through pre-board screening will be encouraged to be more thorough when they load their belongings into the X-ray bins before going through the metal detector. CATSA hopes to reduce alarm rates and speed up the screening process for everyone by educating travellers about the most common causes of metal detector alarms, including shoes and boots, belts, keys, coins, cell phones, PDAs, foil gum and cigarette wrappers and other pocket contents.

The pilot project will also incorporate CATSA's Pack Smart campaign, which was launched last year to inform passengers about what they can do to avoid unnecessary delays at airport security checkpoints.

Once the trial is completed on December 1, CATSA will evaluate the results before making any decisions about changes to screening operations.

For more information on the pre-board screening experience and packing tips, visit www.catsa.gc.ca and or call 1-888-294-2202.

CATSA, established on April 1, 2002, is a federal Crown corporation that operates on a not-for-profit basis. It is responsible for the provision of key aviation security services such as pre-board screening of passengers and their belongings; random screening of non-passengers; and the acquisition, deployment and maintenance of explosives detection equipment at airports. CATSA is also responsible for the development and implementation of a restricted area identity card incorporating biometric features.

Regina Pre-Board Screening Trial

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is conducting a 14-week trial to test different Pre-Board Screening (PBS) configurations and procedures at Regina International Airport. The trial begins on August 26 and ends on December 1, 2009. This pilot project will help CATSA educate passengers about avoiding unnecessary metal detector alarms, and identify ways to make the best use of available resources and space while maintaining high security standards.

The screening trial involves four phases, with gradual modifications introduced to two of the airport's four PBS lanes. Nothing will change in the other two lanes, in order to provide baseline data for comparison. Changes during the four phases will be as follows:

Phase 1 (5 weeks - Aug. 26 to Sept. 29)

- Screening officer at the checkpoint entrance verifies all boarding passes

- Stanchion separates Lanes 1 and 2 in front of the walk-through metal detector

- Passengers who trigger the alarm are advised of possible causes and solutions, such as removing shoes, and are sent back to try again

- Anyone who triggers the alarm a second time is screened with a hand-held metal detector and partial physical search

- Screening officers choose some people and baggage at random for physical search and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD)

Phase 2 (3 weeks - Sept. 30 to Oct. 20)

Same as Phase 1 plus:

- A separate Secondary Search Area (SSA) is installed behind the metal detector for passengers who require additional screening

- Anyone who triggers the alarm a second time is automatically sent to the SSA

- A random alarm on the metal detector selects additional people for the SSA

Phase 3 (3 weeks - Oct. 21 to Nov. 10)

Same as Phase 2 plus:

- A screening officer performs random Explosive Trace Detection at the front of the screening line

- New, larger X-ray bins are introduced

Phase 4 (3 weeks - Nov. 11 to Dec. 1)

Same as Phase 3 plus:

- Random Explosive Trace Detection returns to its original position at the end of the line

- Passengers load their own bins for X-ray, with no assistance from a screening officer

- A screening officer is positioned between Lanes 1 and 2 to help direct passengers

CATSA is working closely with screening personnel, the Regina Airport Authority, Transport Canada and other partners to ensure a successful screening trial. The changes that passengers will see in the coming months are temporary. Once the trial is complete and the results evaluated, CATSA will decide what changes, if any, should be considered in the future.

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