CATSA recognizes that some members of the transgender communities (including persons who are in the process of transitioning) may have questions about the security screening process when a physical search (pat-down) is required.
A physical search is always conducted in the most professional and respectful manner possible. While a screening officer of the same gender as the passenger typically conducts any required searches, CATSA realizes that some members of the transgender community may not be comfortable with this process. To address this concern, transgender passengers (including persons who are in the process of transitioning) can request that:
- The entire search be conducted by either a male or a female screening officer (unless the requested gender is not available) or;
- A split-search be conducted (i.e. a female screening officer searches one half or part of the body and a male screening officer searches the other half or part of the body).
Passengers are not required to reveal that they are are transgender or in the process of transitioning in order to request these options. Passengers can also request that their physical search be conducted in a private room. Those who choose this option may bring a witness of their choice. A witness for the screening officer will also be present (another screening officer or an independent third-party witness such as an airline representative). You may request that this witness be male or female.