Government of Canada invests in aviation security



    OTTAWA, May 5 /CNW Telbec/ - New aviation security measures will protect
Canadians and enhance efficiency so that Canada's airports and air carriers
remain competitive internationally. The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of
State (Transport), and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of
National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), today announced that the
Government of Canada is investing $358.7 million this year to create a more
secure and efficient air transportation system for Canadians.
    "Our government is committed to the security of our airports and the
people who use them," said Minister Merrifield. "This investment in aviation
security represents a major step forward in protecting Canadians while
supporting economic growth through the efficient flow of passengers and
goods."
    Funding in the amount of $355.8 million for 2009-2010 will help the
Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority (CATSA) to strengthen and
improve the efficiency of airport security screening operations and
technology. The Government of Canada will also invest $2.9 million to support
the initiation of airport security plans as a priority this year.
    "Airport security plans will promote the coordination and integration of
airport security, something that will greatly benefit travellers at airports
across the country," said Minister Blackburn. "These new initiatives show that
the Government of Canada is committed to strengthening aviation security on
all fronts."
    Strengthening airport security is an important part of Transport Canada's
ongoing commitment to protect the travelling public, the aviation industry,
aviation workers and infrastructure. The airport security plan initiative
supports that goal by ensuring that security requirements and mitigation
strategies are developed and clearly outlined, and that airport operators' and
tenants' roles and responsibilities are clarified.
    "This is indeed a very good day for aviation security in Canada. Air
travellers will not only be more secure as a result of this investment - this
demonstration of support will also keep our country among world leaders in
this global industry," said Kevin McGarr, President and CEO of CATSA.
    The new measures will ensure that Canada remains closely aligned with the
security measures of its key international partners, and will support the
Canadian air transportation industry to help it remain competitive
internationally.

    Backgrounders with further information are attached.

    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                           AIRPORT SECURITY PLANS
                           ----------------------

    A secure and efficient aviation system is important to Canadians. New and
enhanced aviation security initiatives are needed to strengthen the security
of Canadians; to ensure that Canada remains closely aligned with the security
measures of its key international partners; and to ensure that the Canadian
air transportation industry remains competitive internationally.
    Budget 2009 announced that $2.9 million would be set aside to support the
development of aviation security plans. For the coming year, the priority will
be the initiation of airport security plans. This work follows pilot projects
undertaken in the past year with several airports. Strengthening airport
security is an important part of Transport Canada's ongoing commitment to
protect the travelling public, the aviation industry, aviation workers and
infrastructure.
    The airport security plan initiative was inspired by the findings and
recommendations in Flight Plan: Managing the Risks in Aviation Security, the
Report of the Advisory Panel on the review of the Canadian Air Transport
Security Authority Act
(www.tc.gc.ca/tcss/CATSA/Final_Report-Rapport_final/final_report_e.htm), and
is consistent with international standards and practices.
    This initiative will enhance airport security by ensuring that security
requirements and mitigation strategies are developed and clearly outlined,
that airport operators' and tenants' roles and responsibilities are clarified
and documented, and that the entire security regime at airports is thoroughly
documented.
    Airport security plans will complement other Transport Canada airport
security requirements that will continue to apply to airport operators,
tenants and to the public at airports. Transport Canada is also working on
streamlining regulations, and will continue to inspect security at airports
and take enforcement action when appropriate.
    Because no two airports are identical, airports will be able to tailor
airport security plans to address their specific facilities, security needs
and operations, rather than be subjected to a one-size-fits-all security
regime.
    Transport Canada is committed to working directly with airports and other
stakeholders on this initiative.

                                                                     May 2009

                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

       FUNDING FOR THE CANADIAN AIR TRANSPORTATION SECURITY AUTHORITY
       --------------------------------------------------------------
                                   (CATSA)
                                   -------

    CATSA must be able to ensure that Canada's screening technology and
standards remain compatible with international partners, and that Canadian
airports and air carriers become and remain competitive internationally.
Additional oversight personnel funded through this initiative will also
enhance CATSA's ability to provide nationally consistent and effective
screening programs.
    The Government of Canada is supporting CATSA with $355.8 million in
funding so that it can move forward with the following initiatives:

    - $9.2 million for non-passenger and vehicle access control and screening
      at critical restricted areas of airports, using biometric
      identification technology;

    - $8.6 million for advanced mobile screening equipment for the random
      screening of passengers and baggage for higher-risk charters and
      government flights departing from fixed-base operations; and

    - $82.3 million for advanced, internationally compatible passenger and
      baggage screening equipment that will strengthen security and speed up
      the screening process. Some of this new technology includes:

      - $25 million for 125 new multi-view x-ray units at screening
        checkpoints at Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg
        international airports;
      - $6 million for 18 new screening lanes in Montreal, Vancouver,
        Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto;

    - $12.8 million to support our Olympic and Paralympic partners to ensure
      Canada's security requirements are met. This includes the acquisition
      of portable security units (PSUs) to deliver efficient screening
      operations during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The
      PSUs will be built in Canada with environmentally friendly materials.

    - $242.9 million to support CATSA's ongoing operations and to allow the
      hiring of additional screening officers and oversight officers.

                                                                     May 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Hilton, Office of Minister of State
(Transport), Rob Merrifield, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Media Relations,
Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at
www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at  www.tc.gc.ca/e-news
and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may
be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual
disabilities.


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