About Us

Who We Are

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is a Crown corporation responsible for securing specific elements of the air transportation system – from passenger and baggage screening to screening airport workers.

Established on April 1, 2002, CATSA is fully funded by parliamentary appropriations and is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Transport.

CATSA is governed by a Board of Directors with its operations directed by a Senior Management Team.

What We Do

CATSA is mandated with protecting the public through effective and efficient screening of air travellers and their baggage. Our goal is to provide a professional, effective and consistent level of security service across the country, at or above the standards set by Transport Canada.


CATSA was the centerpiece of the Government of Canada’s response to the events of September 11, 2001 and part of a comprehensive $2.2 billion package of aviation security initiatives in the December 2001 budget. The organization was established on April 1st, 2002.

CATSA delivers the mandate of security screening at 89 designated airports across the country through a third-party screening contractor model. Playing a key role in Canada’s air transportation system, CATSA is responsible for the delivery of the following four mandated activities:

  • Pre-board screening:  The screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their belongings prior to their entry to the secure area of an air terminal building;
  • Hold baggage screening:  The screening of passengers’ checked (or hold) baggage for prohibited items such as explosives, prior to it being loaded onto an aircraft.
  • Non-passenger screening:   The random screening of non-passengers and their belongings, including vehicles, entering restricted areas of the aerodrome at the highest risk airports. These non-passengers include CATSA personnel, screening officers, flight and cabin crews, airline customer service personnel, baggage handlers, vendors and other airport employees.
  • Restricted area identity card (RAIC):  The system which uses iris and fingerprint biometric identifiers to allow non-passengers access to the restricted areas of airports. The final authority that determines access to the restricted areas of an airport is the airport authority.


CATSA’s mission is to protect the public by securing critical elements of the air transportation system.


CATSA’s vision is to be a recognized global leader in aviation security screening, and we will achieve this through:

  • Our service: We use innovative technology and an agile approach to maintain the highest level of security and provide the best possible passenger experience. We deliver value to Canadians with an optimal use of our resources.
  • Our people: We attract, cultivate and support a diverse and engaged workforce.
  • Our partnerships: We work collaboratively with our partners towards common goals and interests.