Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am on the Secure Air Travel Act List or any other list?
Individuals will know that they are on the Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) List if they have received a Public Safety Canada-issued written notification to prevent them from obtaining a boarding pass and, ultimately, deny them boarding. Individuals who have received a notification to deny them boarding may apply to remove their name from the List through an application to the PPIO.
It is important to also recognize that there are many reasons individuals may not be allowed to board a flight or may experience delays at the airport that are unrelated to Canada's Passenger Protect Program (PPP). For example, other countries, as well as airlines, maintain various aviation security-related lists with different criteria and thresholds, which may result in delays for individuals traveling to and from Canada.
Furthermore, each country has the legal right to determine who enters its borders and can therefore impose security requirements on flights that are destined for, originate from, or overfly its territory. If the travel issues you experienced occurred when you were traveling to, from or over U.S. airspace, you may wish to obtain information on the United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) (http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-trip). DHS TRIP is a service for any traveler, regardless of citizenship.
For security and privacy reasons, the government does not confirm or deny if an individual is on the SATA List. The Government of Canada has taken great care to ensure that Canadians' privacy rights are respected and that information is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act, the Security of Information Act, the Secure Air Travel Act and other related policies and laws. Unlawful disclosure of the names of listed individuals is a criminal offence.
What do I do if I have received a written notification to deny boarding under the SATA?
If you have received a Public Safety Canada-issued written notification to deny boarding, you may apply to have yourself removed from the SATA List through an application to the Passenger Protect Inquiries Office.
I have been delayed boarding, but have not received any written notification to deny boarding. What should I do?
You may wish to submit an inquiry to the PPIO, which can help to determine the cause of your problem, and may suggest next steps to help rectify your issue. This may involve working with air carriers and other Canadian government departments and agencies.
You may reach the PPIO by email or mail. Please submit inquiries only once, as multiple submissions will delay response to your request.
Please provide us with:
- Your name and contact information
- The reason for your inquiry
- A detailed description of your travel issue
By email: PS.PPinquiries-demandesPP.SP@canada.ca
Passenger Protect Inquiries Office
PO Box 56040 Minto Place RO
Ottawa, ON K1R 7Z1
If your inquiry is handwritten, please print clearly and carefully so that all your information can be read and understood.
What is the SATA List?
The Secure Air Travel Act provides the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister), or his or her delegate, the authority to establish a list of individuals (called the SATA List) if there are reasonable grounds to suspect they: (1) pose a threat to transportation security; and/or (2) may travel by air to commit certain terrorism offences. In order to be listed, the Minister or a delegated official must have reasonable grounds to suspect that an individual will engage in at least one of these two activities.
The SATA List is reviewed at least every 90 days to ensure that there are still reasonable grounds to suspect that listed individuals will engage in one or both of those activities.
Once an individual is listed, the Minister, or his or her delegate, can direct an air carrier to take an appropriate operational response when he or she attempts to board an aircraft. The direction will be issued to air carriers only once an individual's identity is verified and confirmed to be a positive match to the SATA List and any new information is considered. These responses are tailored to the specific situation, based on what is reasonable and necessary to prevent the threat from materializing. For example, individuals who are assessed as posing a high risk to transportation security may be denied boarding in order to protect both passengers and aircraft. Meanwhile, some listed individuals may be directed to undergo additional screening to provide greater certainty that, for example, they are not carrying any weapons or prohibited items.
How is the SATA List established?
Public Safety Canada Chairs the Passenger Protect Advisory Group (Advisory Group), which receives nominations of individuals from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Transport Canada who should be placed on or removed from the SATA List. The Advisory Group assesses the information supporting the nominations and makes recommendations to the Minister, or a delegated official, regarding which individuals should be listed or delisted. Individuals can be listed if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they pose a threat to transportation security and/or may travel by air to commit certain terrorism offences. The listing process is conducted confidentially and is based on intelligence and other information from investigations.
The Minister, or his or her delegate, must review the List at least every 90 days to determine whether the grounds on which each individual's name was added still exist and whether the individual should remain on the List. The Secure Air Travel Regulations require that air carriers have the most up-to-date SATA List.
To ensure that the information on listed individuals is current and that the grounds for listing them remain relevant, the Chair of the Advisory Group asks Members, at least every 90 days, whether they have new information on listed individuals. Any new information, in turn, will be made available to the Public Safety Canada decision-maker.
Is Canada's SATA List the same as the U.S. No Fly List?
No, the SATA List is not the same as the U.S. No Fly List. Canada's PPP does not operate in conjunction with any other countries' and organizations' aviation security program. Both the Canadian PPP and the U.S. No Fly List operate independently and are subject to their respective laws, as well as listing and operational procedures.
Additional Resources for Travelers
- Travel.gc.ca – Essential information on how to have a safe and enjoyable journey whether you are travelling in Canada or abroad
- Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) - Information regarding pre-boarding screening of air travel passengers and their belongings
- Canada Border Services Agency - Information regarding the admissibility of people and goods into Canada
- Passport Program - Information on obtaining a passport
- Transport Canada - Information on air transportation policies
- Service Canada - Personal Documents
- Service Canada - Travel Documents
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) – Information on how to address difficulties experienced during screening while traveling to, from, within, or over the United States.
Relevant Laws and Regulations
- Date modified: