Federal Transport Minister Chuck Strahl makes an announcement about security screenings at Canadian airports in Ottawa today. — Photo by The Canadian Press
Ottawa — Small scissors and tools, such as eyeglasses screwdrivers, are now OK aboard planes.
There’s a six-centimetre limit for these items and knives of any length are still banned.
It’s part of an effort to reduce hassles at airports, Transport Minister Chuck Strahl said today.
Other changes are in the works to speed up security screening.
“There will also be new dedicated lanes for families and those with special needs, with equipment specifically designed for bigger items like strollers,” he said.
There will also be new lines for frequent travellers pre-approved under the Nexus card program.
He says the idea is to ensure security, while increasing convenience for travellers.
“We’ve listened to travellers and the aviation security community, and we believe these initiatives achieve the best balance of aviation safety and security, and passenger convenience,” he said.
Strahl said he recognizes the frustration sparked by air security measures.
“It’s a process that’s more tolerated than enjoyed,” he said at a news conference at Ottawa’s airport.
The Transport Department noted in a news release that manicure scissors and miniature screwdrivers pose little threat in an era of reinforced cockpit doors and other routine security measures.
The new rules also bring Canada in line with international standards.
Regulations on acceptable carry-on items have shifted back and forth in recent years in response to attempts by terrorists to circumvent security systems.
For example, the government last fall banned the carrying of large cartridges of copier toner after an attempt was made to down a cargo plane with explosives packed into such a container.