Transport Canada Proposes Regulatory Changes to Enhance Security at Airports

Recent concerns over aviation security have led Transport Canada to propose regulatory changes aimed at enhancing security at airports.  A Notice of Intent published on March 27, 2010, outlines new regulatory requirements that will apply to Canada’s major airports and their “key tenants”.

In recognition of the importance of coordination and integration of security at Canadian airports, the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations are to be amended to require airport operators and their key tenants to assess their current security measures and to implement the most effective and comprehensive security plans.

All operators of airports designated for security screening will be required to assess their security and to develop and implement airport security programs to complement the aviation security requirements already in place.  These programs are to clearly document the airport’s aviation security regime and outline airport operator and tenant roles/responsibilities.  Transport Canada will approve the programs and will inspect airports to ensure that they are in compliance.

The proposed regulations will require key tenants to review their security within the airport environment and to develop and implement tenant security programs.  These programs will be required of tenants located on the boundary line of the restricted area in airports.  Tenants must clearly document the application of the aviation security regime and outline the tenant’s aviation security roles and responsibilities.  Once submitted to an airport, the tenants’ security program will be taken into consideration as part of that airport’s overall airport security program.

Three new security levels will be also introduced at these airports.  The three levels are:

Level 1:         normal airport operations

Level 2:        increased risk of a probable incident occurring

Level 3:        an incident is imminent or underway

The proposed new regulations will also increase transparency by making public certain confidential security measures related to airports if the Minister determines it is safe to do so.

The proposed changes are open for public comment until April 28, 2010.  Transport Canada will then publish a formal Regulatory Proposal (including a cost-benefit analysis) in the Canada Gazette later this year to seek further comments from the public.  Once approved, the final amendment will then be published.

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