Security screening tips

What to expect

Passenger security screening is one of the last steps before proceeding to the gate for your flight. There are several steps to the process. You'll need to present your boarding pass to an officer for verification and then send your personal items and carry-on bag(s) through the X-ray machine. The next step is the walk-through metal detector. For those unable to walk through the metal detector, other screening options are available.

Some passengers may be randomly selected for additional screening, including:

  • A screening officer using a hand-wand device that detects metal objects
  • A partial or full physical search (pat-down)
  • A partial or full physical search of carry-on bag
  • A scan of the body using a full-body scanner
  • Swabbing using explosive trace detection

For more information on the security screening experience for passengers who require special assistance, visit catsa.gc.ca.

How to prepare for security screening

  • Have your boarding pass ready to be inspected by the officer.
  • Place coins, keys and small metal items in your carry-on bag.
  • Make sure your liquids, aerosols and gels are in containers no larger than 100ml. Place these items in a clear, resealable plastic bag and place it in the bin – one bag per passenger.
  • Unpack your laptop computer and place it in the bin, with nothing on top or underneath it.
  • Ensure that all electronic devices, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops can be removed from cases and powered on.
  • Remove your outerwear, including coats and jackets. Wear easy-to-remove outerwear and clothing, shoes and belts without metal parts to make the process quicker.

For a full list of items allowed and not allowed through screening, including a handy “What can I bring?” search tool, visit catsa.gc.ca.

Improving security wait times with CATSA Plus

We are Canada’s largest airport, welcoming approximately 50 million passengers in 2018. The holidays are a busy season for travel to and from Canada. The airport and its employees work every day to continuously improve the passenger experience during this busy season and year-round, including working with government agencies like CATSA to develop enhanced processes to reduce delays.

Passengers travelling to the United States in Terminal 1 will experience CATSA Plus – a series of new innovations in screening designed to simplify, streamline and improve the passenger experience. CATSA Plus will continue to roll out across other Toronto Pearson security checkpoints.

Passengers travelling within Canada from Terminal 1, Level 3, will notice that work is being completed on the CATSA security check-point. New CATSA Plus lines are being installed to facilitate faster passenger processing. Additional capacity has been added on Level 2 of Terminal 1 to allow for continued efficiency of passenger processing while this work is completed.

While we work in partnership to introduce new technology and plan for travel peak demands, this alone won’t be enough to meet the needs of our growing passenger base. With passenger traffic steadily on the rise, we believe that additional resources are needed to ensure that partner agencies, including CATSA, meet passenger needs and that service levels meet a globally competitive standard.

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