Security a multilayered approach at YVR

Millions of passengers – 16.8 million in 2010 to be exact – move through Vancouver International Airport annually as they travel to or from one of the 119 destinations served by Canada’s second busiest airport.

But while the majority of passengers moving through YVR understand and comply with the security measures in place, many don’t realize that the approach to safety and security is multilayered and involves many players. There are a number of different organizations working in concert to provide the safe, convenient, 24-hour air travel that has earned Canada’s air transportation system a reputation as one of the most secure in the world.

Here is a rundown on the key agencies and organizations involved:

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is responsible for a number of programs at YVR, including screening of passengers and their bags to ensure that airports, aircraft and passengers are secure. CATSA is currently testing a pilot project at YVR whereby specially trained officers monitor passenger behaviour to detect potential threats through the observation of irregular or suspicious actions.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provides all of the services associated with crossing the border in and out of Canada as a visitor, returning resident, importer of goods or immigrant. CBSA works to keep Canada’s border open to travel and trade but closed to crime.

NAV Canada coordinates the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in Canadian domestic airspace and international airspace assigned to Canadian control. NAV Canada's Vancouver Area Control Centre provides air traffic control, information services and alerting services for aircraft arriving and departing YVR.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides policing services at YVR through a contract with the City of Richmond.

Transport Canada is the Airport Authority's landlord, and is responsible for the development of regulations and national standards for aviation, as well as for the implementation of air transportation system monitoring, testing and inspections.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides pre-clearance for passengers departing YVR for destinations in the United States.

Vancouver Airport Authority is responsible for the development and maintenance of airport infrastructure, and overseeing the day-to-day operations at YVR. This includes overall airport security of areas including the airport perimeter and restricted areas, such as the airfield or parts of the airfield with direct access to aircraft. For more information about the Airport Authority, visit the

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