Requirements applicable to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the Canada Border Services Agency: A Guide

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This is a draft guide in support of Phase I of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATDPR) which will start to come into effect on June 25, 2020.

1. Purpose

This guide explains the obligations of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), under the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR), regarding the services they have to provide in respect of travellers with disabilities, as well as signage requirements for areas under their control. In particular, this guide describes requirements related to:

  • Services to assist travellers with disabilities during security screening;
  • Security screening of travellers with disabilities travelling with an assistive device, mobility aid, support person, or service dog;
  • Services to assist travellers with disabilities during the border clearance process; and
  • Signage under the control of CATSA and CBSA.

In addition, both CATSA and CBSA are required to comply with the communication and training requirements that can be found in Part 1 of the ATPDR. For more information, see Communicating with Persons with Disabilities: A Guide and Personnel training for the assistance of travelers with disabilities: A guide .

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions it provides are for general guidance purposes only. The obligations for CATSA and CBSA are established in the ATPDR, Part 5 and reflected in Annex A of this guide. In case of differences between this guide and legislation or regulations, the legislation or regulations prevail.

2. Security Screening

Security screening may pose challenges for some travellers with disabilities for a variety of reasons, including long lines and procedures which may be unfamiliar to them.

Note: CATSA provides useful information for travellers with disabilities about the screening process on its website, including information for planning a trip and what to expect at screening checkpoints. Travellers with disabilities may wish to consult the CATSA website prior to travel to familiarize themselves with the screening process.

The ATPDR require that CATSA, on the request of a traveller with a disability, provide the following services without delay:

  • Expedite the screening process by directing the traveller, along with any support person who is accompanying them, to the front of the line or to a different line designated for expediting the screening process;
  • Permit a representative of an air carrier, or an individual with a security pass issued by an air carrier or the airport, to accompany the traveller through the security screening checkpoint;
  • Assist the traveller with proceeding through the steps of the security screening process, including by providing verbal or visual cues or additional instructions; and
  • Assist the traveller with the placement of carry-on baggage and personal items on a screening belt and with their retrieval.

Assistive devices, support persons, and service dogs

When screening a traveller who uses an assistive device or who is travelling with a support person or a service dog, CATSA must make every reasonable effort to carry out the screening simultaneously with the screening of their assistive device, support person, or service dog.

If CATSA removes an assistive device for separate screening, it must immediately return the device to the traveller after it has been screened. If a mobility aid is removed for separate screening, CATSA must offer a chair to the traveller while their mobility aid is being screened.

assistive device means any medical device, mobility aid, communication aid or other aid that is specially designed to assist a person with a disability with a need related to their disability.

support person means a person, other than a travel companion, who is needed to provide assistance to a person with a disability, after departure and before arrival, with:

  • eating meals, taking medication, using the washroom;
  • transferring to and from a passenger seat;
  • orientation or communication; and
  • responding to an emergency, including an evacuation or decompression.

The assistance provided by a support person is in addition to the assistance that carrier personnel is already required, by the ATPDR, to provide to passengers with disabilities; for example, assisting the passenger with meals served by the carrier by opening packages, identifying food items and their location and cutting large food portions; assistance with boarding/disembarking, storing and retrieving carry-on baggage, and describing the layout of an aircraft and the location of onboard amenities; or transferring the passenger between a mobility aid and their passenger seat before departure and after arrival.

service dog means a dog that has been individually trained by an organization or person specializing in service dog training to perform a task to assist a person with a disability with a need related to their disability.

For more information about travelling with a support person or a service dog, please see the CTA’s Additional seating and the One Person, One Fare requirement for domestic travel : A guide and Service dogs: A Guide .

3. Border Clearance

All travellers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to present themselves to a border services officer and are required to go through the border clearance process.

The ATPDR require that the CBSA, on the request of a traveller with a disability, provide the following services without delay:

  • Expedite the border clearance process by directing the traveller, along with any support person who is accompanying them, to the front of the line or to a different line designated for expediting the border clearance process;
  • Assist the traveller with proceeding through the steps of the border clearance process, including by providing verbal or visual cues or additional instructions;
  • Assist the traveller to complete a declaration card or collect a verbal declaration; and
  • Assist the traveller with the placement of personal items on a counter for inspection and with their retrieval, if the traveller must undergo more extensive clearance.

4. Signage

In areas of a terminal that are used for security screening or border clearance, CATSA or the CBSA must ensure that all signage under their control:

  • is located at strategic points in those areas, such as close to washrooms and exits;
  • is positioned to avoid shadow areas and glare, and have a glare-free surface;
  • is colour-contrasted with its background; and
  • meets the requirements set out in clauses 4.5.3 to 4.5.7 of the CSA B651-18 (exception: these do not apply to electronic signage).

If the signage is electronic, CATSA and the CBSA must also ensure that it:

  • has letters, numbers, symbols and pictographs that slowly scroll across the screen and are colour-contrasted with their background but are not in red on a black background; and
  • meets the requirements set out in clauses 4.5.3 to 4.5.5 of the CSA B651-18.

5. We’re here to help

For more information and guidance about accessible travel and the CTA’s dispute resolution services, please contact us at info@otc-cta.gc.ca.

Annex A: Obligations for CATSA and the CBSA in the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

Part 5: Requirements Applicable to CATSA and CBSA

Security Screening

Services to assist persons with disabilities

232 During the security screening process, CATSA must, on the request of a person with a disability, provide the following services without delay:

(a) expediting the security screening process by directing the person, and any support person travelling with them, to the front of a line or to any other line that is intended to expedite the security screening process;

(b) permitting a representative of an air carrier or an individual with a security pass issued by an air carrier or the airport to accompany the person through the security screening checkpoint;

(c) assisting the person with proceeding through the steps of the security screening process, including by providing verbal or visual cues or additional instructions; and

(d) assisting the person with the placement of carry-on baggage and personal items on a screening belt and with their retrieval.

Assistive device, support person or service dog

233 (1) CATSA must, when screening a person with a disability who uses an assistive device or who is travelling with a support person or a service dog, make a reasonable effort to carry out the screening simultaneously with the screening of the person’s assistive device, support person or service dog, as the case may be.

Separate screening of assistive device

(2) If CATSA removes an assistive device from a person with a disability for a separate screening, CATSA must immediately return the assistive device to the person after it has been screened.

Separate screening of mobility aid

(3)If CATSA removes an assistive device that is a mobility aid from a person with a disability for a separate screening, CATSA must offer a chair to the person while the mobility aid is being screened.

Border Clearance

Services to assist persons with disabilities

234 During the border clearance process, the CBSA must, on the request of a person with a disability, provide the following services without delay:

(a) expediting the border clearance process by directing the person, and any support person travelling with them, to the front of the line or to any other line that is intended to expedite the border clearance process;

(b) assisting the person with proceeding through the steps of the border clearance process, including by providing verbal or visual cues or additional instructions;

(c) assisting the person to complete a declaration card or by collecting a verbal declaration; and

(d) assisting the person with the placement of personal items on a counter for inspection and with their retrieval, if the person must undergo more extensive clearance.

Signage

Requirements

235 (1) In any areas of a terminal that are used for the purposes of security screening or border clearance of passengers, CATSA and the CBSA must, with respect to any signage that is under their respective control, ensure that the signage

(a) is located at strategic points throughout those areas, such as close to washrooms and exits;

(b) is positioned to avoid shadow areas and glare and have a glare-free surface;

(c) is colour-contrasted with its background; and

(d) except in the case of electronic signage, meets the requirements set out in clauses 4.5.3 to 4.5.7 of CSA B651-18.

Electronic signage

(2) CATSA and the CBSA must ensure that electronic signage

(a) has letters, numbers, symbols and pictographs that slowly scroll across the screen and are colour-contrasted with their background but are not in red on a black background; and

(b) meets the requirements set out in clauses 4.5.3 to 4.5.5 of CSA B651-18.

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