Security screening tips

What to expect

Passenger security screening is one of the last steps before proceeding to the gate for your flight, and there are several steps in the process.

You'll need to present your boarding pass to an officer for verification and then send your personal items and carry-on bags through the X-ray machine.

The next step is the walk-through metal detector. If you're 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; or
  • swabbing using explosive trace detection.

Learn more about CATSA special assistance.

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.

Find out what you can bring

Improving security wait times

We are Canada’s largest airport, welcoming approximately 50 million passengers in 2018. The airport and its employees work every day to continuously improve your airport experience year-round, including working with government agencies like CATSA to develop enhanced processes to reduce delays.

Passengers in Terminal 1 and 3 will be able to enjoy the benefits of CATSA's innovative new screening system, CATSA Plus. CATSA Plus is designed to simplify, streamline and improve the passenger experience with innovative features: 

  • Parallel divest stations
  • Bin tracking system
  • Continuous X-ray belt
  • Remote X-ray image review process
  • Motorized bag diverter with split lanes
  • Motorized bin return
  • Improved repack areas

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