Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Canadian air security inadequate, says secret report

Transport Canada has warned of inadequate security at Canada's airports in a recent review. The report suggests that attackers could board planes using phony boarding passes.

The review of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, originally commissioned by then-Transport Minister John Baird last year, highlighted the possibility of using fake or duplicated boarding passes to get onto a plane.

CATSA has recently implemented electronic scanning systems to ensure that boarding passes are valid, but the review suggests that it complements this activity with ID scans, so that security officials can authenticate the bearer of the boarding pass.

Other recommendations included smarter screening, in which more security would be applied at times of elevated risk, and to passengers perceived as high-risk.

Details of the nine-page report were obtained under an Access to Information request.

This isn't the first time that Canadian air security has been bought into question. Last year, a YouTube video was released that showed two women boarding a plane without removing scarves from their faces. This directly contravened identity screening procedures and prompted a response from Baird at the time.

"If the reports are true, the situation is deeply disturbing and poses a serious threat to the security of the air travelling public," he said.

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