A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Monday, May 13, 2019. Families who have endured anxiety-inducing airport delays over no-fly list mismatches will be among the first to test a new system intended to solve the problem. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Families with kids ensnared by no-fly list invited to test federal remedy

Passengers who have experienced difficulties will be able to apply for a unique code

Families who have endured anxiety-inducing airport delays over no-fly list mismatches will be among the first to test a new system intended to solve the problem.

The move is the latest federal step in revamping passenger-screening procedures following numerous cases of young children being stopped at airports because their names are the same as, or similar to, ones on Canada’s no-fly list.

Passengers who have experienced difficulties will be able to apply for a unique code known as a “Canadian travel number” to help avoid false matches when booking flights to, from or within Canada.

The airline would give the number to the government, which will be responsible for screening passengers against the Secure Air Travel Act watchlist, commonly known as the no-fly list.

Federal officials would then let the air carrier know should there be any additional screening requirements or an outright prohibition on allowing the person to fly.

The government says the new system — being phased in over the next few years — will also improve the security of air travel and protect passenger privacy since airlines, which now use the no-fly list for screening, will no longer have direct access to it.

Members of the group No Fly List Kids, who have pressed the government for changes, learned during a recent federal briefing they would be invited as soon as late April to test an online portal and a paper form to apply for a Canadian travel number.

Group co-founder Khadija Cajee said she plans to apply for a number for her son Adam, 10, who has experienced several airport delays due to no-fly-list mismatches.

“The last time he travelled the same thing happened,” she said. “He couldn’t check in online.”

Cajee came away from the briefing confident the government plan to redesign the screening system is moving along. “I got the sense that they are progressing, and progressing quite well.”

Applying for a Canadian travel number would be voluntary and entail no cost, according to the federal presentation. Officials expect the application process will be available to the general public in June.

People who are 16 years or older will be able to apply for a number on their own, while a parent could apply for a child 15 or younger.

People could apply via Public Safety’s website by creating a travel-number account, or by sending in a form electronically or through regular mail.

Each applicant would be asked to provide personal information such as a full name, date of birth and gender as well as scans or copies of valid identity documents that are used for domestic or international travel.

Public Safety will need this information to verify an applicant’s identity and distinguish his or her name from similar ones of people who are actually on the no-fly list.

The government cautions that a Canadian travel number will not prevent delays if the airport problem is related to another country’s security list or a reason other than security screening.

READ MORE: B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Security

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crib challenge cup winners

55 plus zone 4 winners

Truck broken into, parked by local hotel

Trailer stolen from Ponoka area

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Alberta government asks court to stay judge’s order regarding oilsands decision

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine gave Alberta 10 days to make a decision on the Rigel projec

Alberta must juggle sluggish economy, big deficits, lost jobs in upcoming budget

Premier Jason Kenney won last spring’s election on a promise to boost jobs, grow the economy

Calgary father convicted in toddler’s death from staph infection granted parole

Court heard that John was never seen by a doctor until the day before he died in November 2013

Premier, health minister announces first phase of Red Deer Hospital expansion

Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion

Kenney warns cancelled energy projects stand in the way of Indigenous prosperity

Woodland Cree First Nation in northwest Alberta will receive a $187,688 grant

Most Read