Harper government opens security lines for speedy air travel from Canada to the United States

OTTAWA, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Starting tomorrow, NEXUS members flying to the United States will be able to use NEXUS cards in designated security lines for pre-board screening at airports for faster service. This announcement, made by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, follows the recent Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness announced by Prime Minister Harper and United States President Obama.

"This change will make air travel from Canada to the United States more convenient, while maintaining a high level of aviation security," said Minister Lebel. "I encourage Canadians to apply for a NEXUS card to experience the travel benefits it provides."

NEXUS members travelling to the United States will be able to use valid NEXUS cards for faster screening by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) at Canada's eight largest airports (Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver). Designated security screening lines currently in operation at select domestic and international checkpoints will be open to passengers flying to the United States.

NEXUS is a binational Canada-United States program for pre-approved, low-risk travellers entering Canada and the United States at designated air, land and marine ports of entry. When travelling by air, NEXUS speeds up border clearance by offering members expedited passage by using self-serve kiosks. The designated security screening lines for NEXUS members travelling domestically and now to the United States are implemented by CATSA and Transport Canada in cooperation with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

To apply for NEXUS, visit www.nexus.gc.ca.

Air Industry Supports NEXUS Program

WestJet

"The NEXUS lanes opening tomorrow improve efficiencies for Canadian travellers," said Cam Kenyon, WestJet executive vice-president, Operations. "As more and more people take to the skies, we fully support public policy initiatives that allow our guests to travel with ease. We only have to look at the record number of guests travelling today to see how much the travelling public and the economy will benefit from improvements to how we move people through airports."

Air Canada

"Air Canada congratulates the federal government for the action it is taking with respect to air travel under Beyond the Border by expanding the NEXUS trusted traveller program. This measure advances the twin goals of improving security while at the same time streamlining border clearance processes," said Duncan Dee, executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Air Canada. "As the largest airline in the trans-border market, Air Canada has a vital interest in making the flow of traffic between Canada and the U.S. as easy and secure as possible. We applaud such initiatives by the Canadian and U.S. governments, and encourage them to continue building a border for the 21st century."

Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA)

"We applaud Prime Minister Harper and President Obama for their leadership in making border issues a priority. One of the key elements to the competitiveness of Toronto Pearson International Airport is its ability to securely and efficiently move passengers through our terminals to destinations in the United States and beyond," said Lloyd McCoomb, president and chief executive officer of the GTAA. "This plan will lay the groundwork for improved service for our guests and economic growth for the Greater Toronto Area."

Ottawa Airport Authority

"The Ottawa International Airport is pleased to be one of the first Canadian airports to offer a priority lane to NEXUS members who are travelling to the United States," said Paul Benoit, Airport Authority president and chief executive officer. "The priority lane for domestic/international passengers has been in place for the better part of a year, and it has proven itself to be a successful means of expediting the pre-board screening process for travellers who meet the trusted traveller criteria."

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.


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