Notice to External Stakeholders
Notification of the considered amendments to the Secure Air Travel Regulations
The Passenger Protect Program, commonly referred to as the “no-fly list,” works with air carriers to screen commercial passenger flights to, from and within Canada. The program is administered by Public Safety Canada and Transport Canada, in cooperation with several federal departments and agencies. It allows the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister) to place an individual on the Secure Air Travel Act List if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that:
- the individual will engage or attempt to engage in an act that would threaten transportation security; or
- they are attempting to travel abroad to commit certain terrorism offences such as terrorist attacks, funding for weapons, training and recruitment.
Under the Passenger Protect Program, the Minister may direct an air carrier to take a specific, reasonable and necessary action to prevent a listed person from engaging in such activities, such as directing an air carrier to deny transportation to the individual, or requiring that they undergo additional screening before allowing them to enter the waiting area of an airport or board an aircraft.
In 2017, Parliament introduced Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters, which proposes amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act. These amendments would help to enhance the program. In the event that Bill C-59 passes, amendments would also need to be made to the Secure Air Travel Regulations, in order to enable the centralized screening and redress system of the enhanced Passenger Protect Program.
Purpose of the Consultation
The purpose of this consultation is to obtain feedback on the changes being considered to the regulations that would enable enhancements to the Passenger Protect Program. Therefore, this consultation is very specific and is not meant to cover all aspects of the enhanced Passenger Protect Program, such as the recourse mechanism. Visit this page for more information about the regulatory amendment process.
The considered amendments that may be of interest to you can be grouped into the following categories:
- Collection of date of birth and gender of passengers for domestic flights;
- Government-controlled screening of the Secure Air Travel Act List and automated redress system;
- Creation of a unique identifier;
- Clarification of identity document requirements when travelling domestically;
- Destruction of information in the possession of air carriers and service providers; and
- Outage requirements.
1. Collection of Passenger Date of Birth and Gender
At the time of screening travellers against the Secure Air Travel Act List, a “hit” could occur either because the traveller is indeed the person that is on the Secure Air Travel Act List (a true match) or because of similarities between the name of the traveller and the name of a listed person (false-positive match). In order to reduce the amount of false-positive matches and ensure national security, regulatory amendments are being considered that would require air carriers operating domestic flights in Canada to collect passengers’ date of birth and gender at the time of booking a reservation, as is currently required for international flights. By having these data elements, the Government would be able to better distinguish between travellers who are on the Secure Air Travel Act List from other travellers through centralized screening.
2. Government-Controlled Screening of the Secure Air Travel Act List and automated redress system
Proposed amendments to subsection 6(2) of the Secure Air Travel Act would transfer the responsibility of screening passenger information against the Secure Air Travel Act List from commercial air carriers to the Government of Canada (namely to Public Safety, Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency). This is known as centralized screening. The Canada Border Services Agency would act as a service provider to enable centralized screening in order to leverage existing programs that require similar data from air carriers, such as the Interactive Advance Passenger Information Program. Air carriers that currently participate in programs such as Interactive Advance Passenger Information would be able to use existing transmission methods in order to send this data to the Canada Border Services Agency. As such, regulatory amendments are being considered that would mandate commercial air carriers to submit information on each passenger including name(s), date of birth, gender, and unique identifiers (when provided by travellers) to the Government of Canada, at the following intervals:
- pre check-in;
- at check-in; and
- at any time there is a change to passenger information within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time.
In addition, air carriers would be required to transmit a flight close-out message to the Government no later than 30 minutes after flight departure.
Air carriers would be required to comply with:
- providing the required data elements for each passenger;
- the latest message sent by the Government after each screening interval (pre check-in, at check-in and any time there is a change to passenger information); and/or
- operational directions issued by the Minister.
3. Creation of a Unique Identifier
Bill C-59 would give the authority to the Minister to establish a redress system in order to reduce the amount of false-positive matches to the Secure Air Travel Act List. Travellers who may have experienced difficulty travelling as a result of having a similar name to an individual on this List would be able to apply for a unique identifier, known as a redress number, which would help to distinguish them from listed individuals. Regulatory changes are being considered to require air carriers to collect and transmit travellers’ redress numbers to the Government of Canada in order to help facilitate travel for passengers.
4. Verification of Identity
In order to enhance the security of air travel, the Government of Canada is considering the following regulatory amendments in order to clarify the identity document requirements for domestic flights as well as identity verification processes when passengers are boarding a plane:
- Confirm which types of documentation would be acceptable for domestic flights for travellers living in Canada
- one piece of valid photo identification that shows the passenger’s name, date of birth and gender issued by a government authority within Canada;
- exclude types of documentation not acceptable for domestic flights, such as fishing, hunting and boating licenses.
- Clarify which types of documentation would be acceptable for domestic flights for U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well as foreign nationals
- a NEXUS card, a United States permanent resident card; or a United States Enhanced Driver’s License; and
- a passport issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen of.
- Remove obligation for the air carriers to refuse boarding a passenger if the person does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification document presented at the boarding gate.
5. Destruction of Passenger Information
With centralized screening of the Secure Air Travel Act List, air carriers would no longer conduct screening against the Secure Air Travel Act List. Therefore, existing requirements that govern how commercial air carriers screen against, safeguard and destroy outdated copies of the Secure Air Travel Act List would no longer be required. Once an air carrier has successfully implemented the considered requirements and adopted the enhanced Passenger Protect Program model, they would be required to remove and securely destroy all information respecting listed persons from any system it uses.
6. Outage Requirements
In the case of a planned outage, the Government of Canada is considering regulations that would require both the Government and air carriers to notify the impacted parties, in writing, five days in advance of the outage. In the case of an unplanned outage, the affected party would be required to notify and communicate with the impacted parties immediately.
In both cases, considered modifications would require commercial air carriers to refer back to the latest message or direction received from the Government of Canada for each passenger. If no message has been received from the Government of Canada, or the last message received is anything other than “clear”, air carriers would be required to contact the Government of Canada for resolution through the Passenger Protect Program Operational Hub.
In outage situations, the Government of Canada is considering modifications that would require air carriers to have the capacity to store and transmit required passenger information that would have been sent at the closest screening interval to the time the outage is fixed, once the outage is resolved. Air carriers would also be required to have the capacity to receive automated and/or email and/or call messages and/or directions from the Government of Canada after the outage is resolved.
In specific circumstances related to outages, considered modifications would specify that the Secure Air Travel Act List may be provided to the air carrier to facilitate the screening of passengers, and air carriers would be asked to communicate with the Passenger Protect Program Operational Hub when possible matches are identified.
Please direct all feedback regarding these proposed regulatory changes as well as other feedback on the Passenger Protect Program by November 25, 2018, 11:59 pm EST to Public Safety Canada, Enhanced Passenger Protect team, which can be reached via email at PS.PPP-PPP.SP@canada.ca. Please note that other opportunities to provide comments and concerns will be provided, for instance, at pre-publication in Canada Gazette Part I, which is expected following Royal Assent on Bill C-59.
Passenger Protect Program
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