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New security measures in effect for U.S.-bound flights

Last Updated Jul 19, 2017 at 11:04 am EDT

New “enhanced security measures” go into effect Wednesday for U.S.-bound flights out of Canada and more than 100 other countries.

The new measures include extra screening for personal electronic devices and tighter security protocols in passenger areas and around aircraft.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials say they are expanding security screenings because it is seeing a “spider web of threats to commercial aviation as terrorist pursue new attack methods.”

Officials say they will be expanding the use of canine screening and adding more pre-clearance locations at around 280 airports affected by the new measures.

All commercial flights to the U.S. will be subject to the new measures, impacting an average of 325,000 passengers on a daily basis.

WestJet and Air Canada are advising passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their U.S. departure to make sure they are screened with plenty of time.

Travellers are also asked to make sure their personal electronic devices are fully charged and easily removed from their cases, or have them removed before entering security lines.

Mathieu Larocque, with Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), told Breakfast Television on Wednesday the security agency received the updated regulations from Transport Canada a few days ago.

He also said that the enhanced security checks are random.

“There’s already random screening at the checkpoint. The difference now is that random screening will also include electronic items larger than a cellphone,” Larocque said.

Passengers line up at the gates to the United States at Pearson airport on July 19, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bryan Carey
Passengers line up at the gates to the United States at Pearson airport on July 19, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bryan Carey
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