TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport along with Roxanne James, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today announced new initiatives aimed at making air travel to the United States even easier for NEXUS members and other low-risk Trusted Travellers who have undergone extensive background checks. Minister Raitt also encouraged travellers to use a new holiday travel toolkit to enable faster and more convenient holiday travel.
During Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) security screening, Trusted Travellers are now able to access dedicated lines at four of Canada's busiest airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto (Pearson Terminals 1 and 3), and Montréal. At these lines, Trusted Travellers have access to faster security screening, for instance, not having to remove shoes, belts, hats, light jackets; and keeping permitted liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on bags.
In addition, to facilitate clearing customs, upgraded Trusted Traveller kiosks are now installed in all airports in Canada where NEXUS is available. At Canada's busiest airports, the CBSA has also installed more kiosks to accommodate the growing popularity of the program. These upgraded kiosks will provide faster, more reliable and efficient service.
These new kiosks will improve the flow of travel in Canada's busiest airports and make air travel more convenient for all air passengers while still maintaining a high level of security.
Minister Raitt also encouraged all travellers to access a new portal on Canada.ca/HolidayTravel to enable faster and more convenient holiday travel. Drawing important information from across government, it provides links to user-friendly tools like the Current Border Wait Times table and the Travel Smart app for consular information and assistance abroad.
- Dedicated CATSA security screening lines are now available for transborder flights at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto (Pearson Terminals 1 and 3), and Montréal airports.
- Trusted Travellers eligible to use these security screening lines include members of NEXUS and Global Entry programs and Canadian and US military, and aircrew in uniform with valid ID.
- Trusted Travellers must still comply with screening rules for prohibited items.
- The NEXUS program is a bi-national program administered in collaboration with the United States.
- NEXUS membership benefits to air travellers include:
- expedited screening or front of queue service at CATSA checkpoints in Canada for domestic, transborder, and international flights; and
- self-serve kiosks to clear customs and immigration.
- The NEXUS program has more than 1,100,000 members as of December 2014.
"In working with our aviation security partners in Canada and the United States, our government is committed to safe and secure travel. We will continue to strengthen both the security and efficiency of our aviation system."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
"Our government remains committed to ensuring that air travel remains safe for all Canadians while continuing to look at ways to help make travel through our airports more convenient. These new upgraded NEXUS kiosks will provide NEXUS members with faster, more reliable and efficient service while also helping to make travelling through Canada's busiest airports more convenient by improving the flow of travel for all air passengers."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
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Government of Canada makes holiday travel more convenient
Enhancing efficiency while maintaining security for travellers
The Government of Canada is making travel easier for you during this busy time of year. Whether you're headed down south or visiting loved ones across the country, our tips will help ensure you get to your final destination safely.
More convenient travel
Before you leave home, check our Air travel page for information on what you can bring on a plane, pre-boarding identification requirements and an explanation of the airport security screening process. If you have packed your baggage properly and have all of the necessary pre-boarding identification with you, you will make your way through airport security with a minimum of delay. Before you leave home, save time by checking the airport security screening wait time at your international airport.
The new screening measures in place in select airports across Canada will improve passenger convenience, while continuing to maintain aviation security.
New NEXUS Lanes
Since the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, Canada has increased the number of NEXUS lanes at land ports of entry across the country namely in Québec at Lacolle; in Southern Ontario at the Windsor–Detroit Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge; the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia; the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and the Queenston–Lewiston Bridge; in British Columbia at Abbottsford, Douglas, Pacific Highway; and most recently, at Whirlpool–Rapids Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario. An eGate pilot project that will expedite passage by allowing 24-hour access 7 days a week at the Peace Bridge port of entry in Fort Erie, Ontario is also underway. A list of NEXUS lanes and hours of operation is available here.
NEXUS Card when travelling to the U.S.
For travel to the U.S. and within the U.S., NEXUS members benefit from expedited security screening lines in pre-clearance areas at major Canadian airports and dedicated lines at over 100 participating U.S. airports for domestic, trans-border and select international flights. All NEXUS members also receive the U.S. Trusted Traveller Global Entry (GE) program privileges, including use of GE kiosks when entering the U.S. from anywhere in the world. For more information, go to the About Global Entry page.
Border Wait Times
Every year, millions of Canadian citizens and visitors travel across the border during the holiday season. Everyone wants their border crossing to go smoothly. The best way to make sure this happens is to know what to expect and be prepared. Whether you're returning home or visiting friends and family in Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency wants to help you plan your trip across the border with some useful tools to make your wait at the border as short and merry as possible. The current Border Wait Times table, updated hourly, displays wait times for reaching a primary inspection booth at 26 of our busiest land border crossings. Follow @CBSA_BWT for wait time information on Twitter!
Travel safe, travel smart
Will you be travelling this holiday season? The Government of Canada has important travel information to help you get to your destination safely and efficiently.
Travel Smart App
The Government of Canada has launched a new mobile application called Travel Smart that enables Canadians anywhere in the world to access travel information on our travel advisories, sign up to our Registration of Canadians Abroad service, and access consular assistance at the touch of their smart phone.
If you are planning to go on a trip during the holidays, make sure to take precautions to protect your health. Consult our travel health notices for advice on how to stay healthy while travelling. The most common illnesses among travellers are generally caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Always take precautions with food and water to avoid getting sick.
See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you leave to make sure your vaccinations are up-to–date and for other advice on how to protect yourself from illness and injury.
Pack an extra supply of your prescription or over-the-counter medications in case you are away for longer than expected. Read Travelling with medication and Travelling with a medical device for more information.
Flu season extends right through the holidays and millions of Canadians catch the flu every year. The flu is caused by a virus that passes easily from person to person and symptoms often include fever, chills and cough, with sore throat, headache and aching muscles. Be sure take steps to protect yourselves and your loved ones by getting the flu shot, cleaning your hands frequently, staying home when sick and coughing and sneezing into your arm, not your hand. If you have the flu, rest and fluids help you get well faster.
Find up-to-date, country-specific advice and information on your destination country in our Country travel advice and advisories.
Check your passport
Check the expiry date of your passport. Do you need to renew it? Do you need a visa to enter your destination country? To enter the U.S. you must have a passport, a U.S. Passport Card (U.S. citizens only), Enhanced Driver's Licence or a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST).
When you are travelling in another country you are subject to its laws, which are often different than those in Canada. You are expected to follow the laws of the country you are visiting, just as you would in Canada.
Say yes to travel insurance
You should always purchase travel and medical insurance before you leave Canada. The Government of Canada – and the taxpayer – will not help pay for your medical treatment or your ticket back to Canada. Don't let unforeseen bills ruin your vacation and your wallet. For more information please visit: Travel insurance.
Travelling with pets
Many people like to take their pets with them on their trips. But it's important to remember that there are many import requirements for animals entering Canada, including domestic pets.
If you are taking your pet with you on your trip to another country, please make sure you contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals and make sure you have the necessary documents to ensure that your pet is cleared to travel.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure your pet has a safe trip.
Winter driving can be challenging. Visit our Winter Driving site for tips on getting your vehicle ready for and preparing to drive during the season.
If you need help
If you are outside Canada and need emergency help during business hours, call the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. You can also request emergency help through our Operations Centre, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Unfortunately, some travellers have an unrealistic expectation of what we are here to help them with. For a list of what consular officials can and cannot do, please visit: Consular Services: general.
Travel information at your fingertips
From tips on what to pack, renewing your passport and consular services, you'll find it all on the Government of Canada's Holiday Travel page at: www.Canada.ca/HolidayTravel
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information: Ashley Kelahear, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055; Canada Border Services Agency, Media Line, 613-957-6500; CATSA Communications, Mathieu Larocque, 613-998-4527