The Minister of Transport recently announced two new aviation security measures intended to address an immediate threat to aviation security. The Passenger Identification and Behaviour Observation Interim Order came into effect on January 26, 2011.
Passengers are not to be admitted to a sterile area beyond a screening checkpoint unless they have undergone identity screening. In the same interim order, the Minister has implemented a pilot project at YVR where the behaviour of passengers is monitored.
Here’s Looking at You
Previously, passengers were only required to show their boarding passes at security. Now the screening process will require production of acceptable identification, observation of the passengers’ entire faces to determine if they are 18 years or older and, for those over 18, a comparison of their faces and names to the required identification. Access beyond the screening point will be denied if certain discrepancies exist such as:
- the passenger does not look like the photo;
- the passenger appears to be a different age or gender;
- the passenger presents more than one form of identification and there is a discrepancy between the two.
There are limited medical exceptions which will require production of a document signed by a health care professional.
Your Behaviour is Unusual
The Interim Order also provides that on a trial basis at YVR, passengers may be denied access if they exhibit behaviour that “appears unusual in the context of pre-board screening”. Practical application of this may prove difficult, as the Order does not explain what is meant by “unusual”. However, such passengers will not pass the screening until they have undergone identity screening and spoken with the screening authority. If the authority considers that a passenger’s behaviour is “unusual”, the authority must not allow the passenger to proceed through the check point until it carries out additional screening of the person for any prohibited items in his/her possession or control. Of note, the Order fails to say what will happen after the additional screening occurs and nothing prohibited is found.