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Security Process

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Security Process

What to expect at the pre-board screening checkpoint:

  • Present your boarding pass or e-ticket to the pre-board screening officer
  • If you require any assistance due to a medical condition, disability, religious or cultural consideration, or other special needs, please inform the screening officer when you arrive at the checkpoint
  • Have large electronic devices (e.g. laptops, game consoles) out of their carrying cases and ready for inspection (i.e. laptop computers) and placed in a separate plastic bin from your other belongings. Tablets, cell phones and other small electronics do not need to be in a separate bin. They can be in the same bin with your clothes and other items – but if you have more than one tablet, please do not stack them.
  • If your shoes have metal in them (for example steel-toed shoes or high heels with metal inside the heel) then you may be asked to remove your shoes. Otherwise you do not need to remove your shoes during pre-board screening, unless you are travelling non-stop to the US from Edmonton. Children under 12 yrs travelling directly to the US also are not required to remove their shoes.
  • Do not bring wrapped gifts through security. Place wrapped gifts in your checked luggage or wrap them after security or at your end destination. This will speed up your time in line. If you have anything wrapped – be prepared that an officer may need to unwrap the gift.
  • Place carry-on items (i.e. purse, coat, hat) in the plastic bin provided
  • All loose and metal objects, including coins and keys must also be placed in the plastic bin; however it will speed up the process if these items are packed in carry-on luggage
  • All liquids, gels and aerosols must be put in a clear 1L plastic bag and placed in the plastic bin (there are exceptions for baby food/drinks and medicines). Visit CATSA's Liquids, Non-solid Food & Personal Items page to see these full requirements
  • Proceed through the metal detector archway when the screening officer signals you to do so
  • If you are selected for an additional physical search, you may request a private search area
  • Remember to take all of your belongings with you when leaving the pre-board screening checkpoint area


What is the Full Body Scanner at airport security?

A full body scanner is used to reveal objects, including weapons and explosives that could be concealed under clothing. All images are generic and are  immediately and permanently deleted after viewing.  Health Canada has deemed the scanner fully safe. The energy used from the scanner is non-invasive, it is safe for pregnant women as well as passengers with pacemakers or surgical metal implants (i.e. plates, screws). For more information visit:


Strollers and Wheelchairs

Look for the Family/Special Needs lane. There is extra space to accommodate larger items like strollers and wheelchairs and mobility aids, and screening officers who offer additional assistance.


Priority Lane at Central Security

The Priority Lane is a fast track security line that accommodates the following passengers (full list here:

  • NEXUS Card holders
  • RAIC (airport security pass) holders
  • Passengers travelling with small children
  • Passengers travelling with special needs
  • Flight crews (International crews with no RAIC must be in uniform with valid ID)
  • Active military (No uniform required, only valid ID) or peace officers in uniform
  • First Class and or business travellers on the following airlines:
    • Air Canada J Class (Elite, Super Elite, Business Class)
    • Canadian North
    • Icelandair
    • KLM

The Priority Lane is located in the Central Security Hall on the departures level to the left of the regular security lanes.  Those accompanying the trusted travelers, on the same flight, are also allowed. 


For more information please visit or phone 1 888 294 2202. “Breeze through security” with CATSA's mobile app, you'll find information to make it easier to get through airport security screening.

For information on pre-board screening procedures or air travel within the US, please consult the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website.