Airport security screening

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Plan ahead

What to wear

Since all passengers must pass through a walk-through metal detector, we suggest you decrease the likelihood of setting off the alarm:

Most belts have metal content which may trigger an alarm that can only be resolved by undoing the belt. Please note that passengers are always asked to unbuckle the belt themselves and to hold its ends apart.

Remember, if you set off the alarm while walking through the metal detector you will have to undergo further screening to determine its source. This may include hand “wanding” and/or a physical search.

How to pack

Your carry-on baggage and bins will go through the baggage screening x-ray for careful examination by a Screening Officer. Here are a few tips to minimize the potential for the further delay of an additional carry-on baggage content search:

Be prepared!

Remember, all passengers have to go through airport security screening. Common courtesy and patience go a long way in making the process less stressful and more efficient for everybody. Make sure you:

For a complete list of air travel prohibited items in Canada including baggage carry-on restrictions, please visit the CATSA Security Screening - Breeze Through page.

Religious, cultural and ceremonial items

Screening Officers are trained to use common sense and courtesy when screening persons carrying or wearing objects of sensitive, religious or cultural significance. When you enter the screening checkpoint, notify the Screening Officer that you are carrying articles that have special religious, cultural or ceremonial significance. All such items will be subjected to individual screening.

Please note that certain items are not permitted through the pre-board screening checkpoint (e.g. religious knives, swords, etc.) because they are sharp objects. Any item that may not be allowed past the pre-board screening checkpoint should be packed in your checked baggage. Please visit the CATSA Security Screening - Breeze Through page.

If you wear a head covering (or turban) as part of your religious beliefs, you will undergo security screening while wearing your head covering. To speed up the screening process you should remove any metal objects from your head covering before you go through the screening checkpoint.

If your head covering causes an alarm to sound, a physical search will be required. The alarm must be resolved. In most cases this will not require you to remove your head covering. The physical search may be conducted in a private search room at your request.

Security Screening: video

Before you fly, learn the rules. Follow these tips on how to get through security screening hassle-free.

Transcript: Security Screening Tips

Sound of marker or thick pen on white board or paper.

All passengers must go through airport security. Here are some tips to help you get through like a pro.

Give yourself plenty of time to go through security and have your boarding pass ready to present to a screening officer.

Families or passengers with special needs who need a little more time can take advantage of the dedicated FamilySpecial Needs line.

To avoid alarming remove metal objects like keys and spare change from your pockets. Put them in your coat or carry-on bag before passing through.

Cell phones, tablets and other electronics can stay in your carry-on. If you have a laptop take it out of the case and put it in a bin.

Your clear plastic re-sealable bag of liquids, aerosols and gels, your coat and your purse also go in the bin. Avoid wearing clothes with metal snaps and buttons, belts with metal buckles, steel-toed shoes or shoes with metal arches or shanks.

Following these tips can save you time during screening.

You may be required to undergo additional screening. If so, you have a choice between the Full Body Scanner or a physical search.

For more information visit the CATSA website at

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