Taking action for families: Passenger Protect exemption announced for travellers under 18



    OTTAWA, June 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that, through a
temporary exemption to the Passenger Protect program, travellers in Canada who
appear to be between 12 and 17 years of age will require only one piece of
government-issued identification (ID), with or without photo, before boarding
an aircraft.
    Implementation of the Passenger Protect program for flights within
Canada, and for international flights to and from Canada, will begin on
Monday, June 18, 2007. The exemption for travellers under 18 in Canada will be
in place until September 18, 2007 inclusively, after which the new regulations
will be in full effect.
    "We want to ensure that Canadian families are kept safe, but are not
unreasonably inconvenienced as we enter the busy summer travel season," said
Minister Cannon. "Requiring travellers under eighteen years of age to fly with
one piece of identification allows families to maintain their travel plans,
yet become aware of the full requirements of the Passenger Protect program
that begins on June 18."
    On September 18, the exemption will be lifted and new Identity Screening
Regulations will require all air passengers within Canada who appear to be
12 years of age or older to present one piece of government-issued photo ID
that shows name, date of birth and gender or two pieces of government-issued
ID without photo - one of which shows name, date of birth and gender - before
boarding an aircraft. The name on the boarding pass provided by the air
carrier must match the name on the ID.
    Even with this exemption, travellers under 18 who currently hold ID
meeting the Passenger Protect requirements are strongly urged to use it when
travelling by air.
    This made-in-Canada program was developed to provide an additional layer
of security for the aviation system and to enhance public safety in a way that
complies with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and federal privacy
legislation.

    For more information on the Passenger Protect program, including a list
of valid ID, please visit www.passengerprotect.gc.ca.


    
                                 Backgrounder
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                          PASSENGER PROTECT PROGRAM
                          -------------------------

    The Government of Canada began consulting with industry on passenger
assessment in May 2004, and expanded consultations on a program proposal for
Passenger Protect in the summer of 2005. Consultations with air carriers,
airports, labour representatives, civil liberties and ethno-cultural groups as
well as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner were essential to the
successful design and implementation of a program that enhances security,
respects the needs and realities of the aviation industry, and ensures that
the privacy and human rights of Canadians are protected.
    The Passenger Protect program adds another layer of security to Canada's
aviation system to help address potential threats. Terrorist groups continue
to target civil aviation, and seek means to defeat existing safeguards and
measures.
    Under the program, the Government of Canada is maintaining a list to be
provided to airlines in secure form, with the name, date of birth and gender
of each specified person. The airlines will compare the names of individuals
intending to board flights with the names on the specified persons list, and
will verify with the individual's government-issued identification when there
is a name match. Identification will be verified in person at the airport
check-in counter. When the airline verifies that an individual matches in
name, date of birth and gender with someone on the list, the airline will be
required to inform Transport Canada.
    A Transport Canada officer will be on duty 24 hours a day, every day, to
receive calls from airlines when they have a potential match with a specified
person on the list. Transport Canada will verify information with the airline,
confirm whether the individual poses an immediate threat to aviation security
and inform the airline, if required, that the individual is not permitted to
board the flight. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would be notified
immediately in the event of a match, and police of jurisdiction at the airport
would be informed and take action as required.
    The Passenger Protect program will be implemented for Canadian domestic
flights and international flights to and from Canada on June 18, 2007.

    Creating the Specified Persons List

    The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has the
authority under the Aeronautics Act to specify an individual who is a threat
to aviation security and to require airlines to provide information about the
specified person.
    A Transport Canada-led Advisory Group will assess individuals on a
case-by-case basis using information provided by the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service and the RCMP, and will make recommendations to the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities concerning their
designation as specified persons or the removal of that designation.
    The Advisory Group includes a senior officer from the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service and a senior officer from the RCMP (as advised by the
Department of Justice), with input from representatives of other Canadian
government departments and agencies.
    Individuals are added to the specified persons list based on their
actions, which lead to a determination that they may pose an immediate threat
to aviation security should they attempt to board an aircraft. Guidelines in
making that determination are focused on aviation security, and may include:

    - an individual who is or has been involved in a terrorist group, and
      who, it can reasonably be suspected, will endanger the security of any
      aircraft or aerodrome or the safety of the public, passengers or crew
      members;
    - an individual who has been convicted of one or more serious and life-
      threatening crimes against aviation security; and
    - an individual who has been convicted of one or more serious and life-
      threatening offences and who may attack or harm an air carrier,
      passengers or crew members.

    Identity Screening Regulations

    As of June 18, 2007, new Identity Screening Regulations will require
airlines to screen each person's name against the specified persons list
before issuing a boarding pass, for any person who appears to be 12 years of
age or older. The regulations take into account the various ways in which the
boarding pass may be obtained: at a kiosk, through the Internet, or at an
airport check-in counter.
    Where there is check-in via Internet or kiosks, airlines will not allow
printing of the boarding pass when there is a name match with the specified
persons list. Passengers refused a boarding pass at a kiosk or through the
Internet will be directed to the airline agent for in-person verification of
government-issued identification (ID). ID verification will determine whether
the name, date of birth and gender match those of a listed person.
    The regulations also require air carriers to screen individuals at the
boarding gate by comparing the name on government-issued ID with the name on
the boarding pass. If the name on the ID is not the same as the name on the
boarding pass, the air carrier will be required to check the name on the ID
against the list.
    Transport Canada will work with air carriers to provide training for
agents and staff who will be involved in implementing the ID verification
requirement, and establish procedures that respect the rights of passengers.
    The ID requirement under the Passenger Protect program is for one piece of
valid government-issued photo ID that shows name, date of birth and gender,
such as a driver's licence or a passport, or two pieces of valid
government-issued ID, at least one of which shows name, date of birth and
gender, such as a birth certificate.
    Until September 18, 2007, inclusively, an exemption requiring only one
piece of government-issued ID without photo will be granted to Canadian air
passengers who appear to be between 12 and 17 years of age. The verification
of passengers' ID is already a practice followed by most major air carriers in
Canada.
    The regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on May 16,
2007.

    Reconsideration and Appeals

    The Passenger Protect program also includes a reconsideration process for
individuals who wish to contest the denial of boarding. An individual who has
been denied boarding under the Passenger Protect program will be able to apply
to Transport Canada's Office of Reconsideration (OOR), which may arrange for
an independent assessment of the case and make a recommendation. The goal is
to provide a non-judicial, efficient mechanism for any member of the public to
have their case reviewed by persons independent of those who made the original
recommendation to the Minister. Individuals have the further option of making
application to Federal Court for judicial review.

    Privacy and Human Rights

    The protection of privacy and human rights is a core element of the
Passenger Protect program. In developing the program, Transport Canada worked
with stakeholders and consulted with civil liberties and ethno-cultural
groups, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on privacy aspects.
    A summary of the Privacy Impact Assessment conducted on the Passenger
Protect program is available on the Transport Canada website at
www.tc.gc.ca/vigilance/sep/passenger_protect/executive_summary/menu.htm.
    In addition, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada posed a
series of questions to Transport Canada about the Passenger Protect program in
August 2005. The questions and the answers shed light on the privacy
protection features of the program and are available on the Web at
www.tc.gc.ca/vigilance/sep/passenger_protect/Q&A/menu.htm.

    More details on the Passenger Protect program and the new Identity
Screening Regulations are available on Transport Canada's website at
www.passengerprotect.gc.ca.

                                                                 June 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Julia Ukrintz, Communications, 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/listserv/ 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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