CATSA Plus: The Future of Security Screening

If you have been through security screening recently at one of Canada’s major airports, you may have noticed a significant difference in the appearance of some security lines.

It’s called CATSA Plus. The new concept combines the latest equipment, technology and processes that have been successfully tested by CATSA at various airports over the last few years.

CATSA conducted a trial of this innovative screening concept at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport in the summer of 2016. The results from the trial helped CATSA to make refinements before the deployment of the first CATSA Plus checkpoint at Calgary’s International Terminal later that year.

Since then, CATSA Plus has come to Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Halifax, and Edmonton airports, and more lines have been installed at Calgary, Montréal-Trudeau and Ottawa. 

CATSA Plus involves replacing our standard screening lines with high-performance lines, while also addressing CATSA’s vision for seamless security. The “plus” represents enhanced security effectiveness and a more pleasant experience through the checkpoint for air travellers, as the new lines allow for improved customer service and passenger flow.

Features and benefits of CATSA Plus

CATSA Plus uses motorized rollers, bin tracking, and diverters to continually move items through the screening line. CATSA Plus also includes motorized parallel divest stations and bin returns, a redesigned repack area and a centralized X-ray image processing system.

Did you know? The rules for going through a CATSA Plus checkpoint are the same as at a regular screening line, however, with several people going through screening at once, here are some tips to keep in mind.  

Parallel divest stations

These stations allow up to four passengers to place their belongings in the bins at the same time. Passengers who are familiar with screening procedures can quickly place their items in the bins and bypass those who may need more time or assistance without making them feel pressured to speed up.

Bin tracking system

A unique identification tag is assigned to each bin and a photo is taken of the bin before it enters the X-ray. Combined with the continuous belt and remote X-ray image review, the system makes it faster and easier for screening officers to identify items requiring a search.

Continuous X-ray belt

This new equipment creates a constant flow of bins through the X-ray machine to reduce slowdowns.

Remote X-ray image viewing process

X-ray screening officers are located in a remote room in a quiet area away from the distractions of the checkpoint. All of the screening officers’ workstations are connected to a network that assigns X-ray images to the first available screening officer.

Motorized bag diverter

This allows the X-ray screening officer to reject a bin and automatically redirect it to a separate search line for additional screening. Bins that are cleared proceed down the clear lane. This process enhances security and improves flow through the line.

Motorized bin return

Motorized rollers automatically return empty bins to the front of the line so there are always bins available for passengers.

Improved repack areas

At the end of the line, after the X-ray, passengers can take their bins to an expanded repack zone.More space, along with tables and benches at the end of the lines, makes it easier for passengers to repack their personal belongings without feeling rushed.


For more information on CATSA Plus, contact us at 1-888-294-2202, through our Questions, Comments and Complaints form or by sending us a question on Twitter  or Facebook.