The Government of Canada will update the Trusted Traveler program

On Tuesday, May 23, the Government of Canada announced that the current Trusted Traveler program will be replaced by a new. Verified Travelers Program. The goal of this move is to improve the security check-in experience while maintaining high standards.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will introduce the new Verified Traveler program at select airports by June 21, 2023, just in time for the busy summer travel season.

New verified travelers program

The new Screened Traveler program will provide eligible travelers with a number of benefits at security checkpoints. When traveling through security, Verified Travelers may store laptops, large electronics and appropriate liquids and gels in carry-on baggage.

When going through a metal detector or other security device, Verified Travelers can also keep their shoes, belts and light jackets on.

Passengers eligible for membership in the verified traveler program are:

  • NEXUS and Global Entry members
  • Active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and US Armed Forces, including reservists, with valid ID
  • Canadian flight crew and airport staff with restricted area identification cards
  • International cabin crew (in uniform) with valid airline ID
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, Canadian constables and constables with a badge issued by their respective organizations and appropriate photo identification.

Children under 17 and adults 75 and older may accompany Verified Travelers through CATSA Verified Traveler screening as long as they are on the same reservation.

From June 7 to June 21, 2023, screening lines for verified travelers will be available at a number of domestic and international checkpoints at the following airports:

At the following airports, Checked travelers will receive first entry through security and may be accompanied by companions of any age booked on the same reservation;

  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
  • Greater Moncton Roméo Leblanc International Airport (YQM)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Kelowna International Airport (YLW)
  • Ottawa International Airport (YOW)
  • Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
  • Regina International Airport (YQR)
  • Saskatoon International Airport (YXE)
  • St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
  • Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG) – Cross-border

The press release also mentions that several airports will extend “Renewed Traveler” privileges at cross-border checkpoints as well.

Passengers on cross-border flights will be able to leave permitted gels, liquids and aerosols in hand luggage, keep small items in pockets and keep shoes, belts, hats and light jackets on at the following airports:

  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) – Terminal 1
  • Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

It’s worth noting that screened travelers still have to remove laptops and large electronics from their bags at border security checkpoints, and that there are no age restrictions for chaperones at border checkpoints.

The Government of Canada believes the new Enhanced Traveler program will help ease congestion at security checkpoints over time as its use increases.

Will a screened traveler help ease congestion at Canadian airports?

As passengers returned to Canadian airports in the wake of the pandemic, there have been a number of problems during peak travel times. The entire travel experience was affected by multiple flight schedule changes, delays and cancellations to long queues at every point of the journey.

The new vetted traveler program certainly won’t hinder efforts to ease congestion, but it’s unclear whether it will make any significant difference ahead of the busy travel season.

Will the Checked Traveler program have a significant impact on airport congestion?

NEXUS check-in centers at Canadian airports have fully reopened, and most likely offices are busy clearing the backlog of applications built up during the pandemic.

The vast majority of Canadians must qualify through NEXUS to use the Verified Traveler program. The process of applying to everyone can be very time-consuming, although it’s clearly worth the effort for frequent travelers.

For passengers who qualify for the program, the security process will likely take a few minutes less than it used to, which is a positive development to say the least.


The Government of Canada has announced the upcoming introduction of the Trusted Traveler program by the Canadian Air Transport Safety Agency (CATSA), which will replace the current Trusted Traveler program.

From June 7 to 21, 2023, special lanes will be available at select airports and eligible passengers will enjoy a streamlined security screening process. For airports that do not have verified traveler routes, access will be available up front for program members.

Verified travelers may be escorted by partners into the United States and at airports that offer forward access only. however, co-travelers must be under 17 or over 75 at CATSA Verified Traveler checkpoints.

This is the latest measure taken by the Canadian government to alleviate congestion at airports. However, it is not clear whether this will have much effect for the summer of 2023.

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