Canada Mulls Strengthening Flight Screening

Canada's police and security agencies may get involved directly into the analysis and selection process of flight passengers under a planned program aimed at enhancing flight security, according to local reports Wednesday.

A new no-fly list will come into use in March for domestic flights and in June for international flights. This program places the onus on airlines to check the names of passengers against the no-fly list and notify the Transport Department if there is a match, Canadian Television reported.

However, the government is developing a new program, under which the national police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the national security agency, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), will be given the mandate to access passenger information directly.

Up to 34 pieces of information about everyone who flies within Canada will go under the screening of the two federal agencies. Among the information required is that collected at check-in and includes name, date of birth, gender, citizenship or nationality and travel document information. Also there is data collected at the time of booking and includes information relating to a traveler's reservation and itinerary.

Among other pieces of information, the program would require airlines to gather and share a passenger's full name, date of birth, and gender, which is not required currently for domestic flights.

There is currently no timetable for introducing the program and Ottawa is still investigating its feasibility, the report said.



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