CATSA Investigated Verification Testing

Ottawa, April 29, 2016 – While conducting routine monitoring of its screening operations at Toronto-Pearson Airport, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) noticed unusual behaviour by some screening contractor employees at the checkpoint. An investigation was immediately launched and found that a small number of screening contractor employees at the airport had compromised the covertness of CATSA’s internal verification testing. CATSA’s screening contractor at Toronto-Pearson Airport fully cooperated with the investigation.

This testing is conducted as part of CATSA’s quality assurance program. Tests are designed by CATSA to assess the performance of the screening officers in a live environment and identify areas for improvement. To ensure CATSA’s verification testing is valid, it must remain covert. 

It is important to note that while these actions were unprofessional, security screening and associated technology were never compromised. CATSA verification testing is just a small piece of a comprehensive aviation security regime that makes Canada’s aviation systems one of the most secure and efficient in the world. 

Preventative and corrective actions have been taken to ensure the process is respected and remains covert. 

CATSA is a Crown corporation responsible for:

  • Pre-board screening – the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and their personal belongings;
  • Hold-baggage screening – the screening of checked baggage;
  • Non-passenger screening – the random screening of non-passengers; and
  • Restricted Area Identity Card – the administration of access control to airport restricted areas through biometric identifiers.


Mathieu Larocque