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

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

What would you like to ask Hope’s Mayor on COVID-19?

Send us your questions, ahead of a conversation with Peter Robb

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘It’s frightening’: Hemlock Valley trucker on being on the road during COVID-19

Armed with a keychain-sized hand sanitizer, trucker Brennan Bateman set out for the United States

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read