Transport Canada seeks power to allow airport security screeners to open locked luggage

Passengers walk into one of the security screening points at the Calgary International Airport...

Passengers walk into one of the security screening points at the Calgary International Airport Wednesday Aug. 25, 2010. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency file photo)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

OTTAWA — Transport Canada is consulting with Canadians to gauge their feelings on allowing airport security screeners to open locked luggage if that luggage is flagged on X-rays.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) currently screens all bags before they are loaded on to an aircraft. Unlocked baggage that sets off security alarms can be searched, but airport screeners are not currently allowed to go into locked bags.

"The safety and security of the travelling public is our top priority," Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said. "This means more bags, including locked and sealed ones, will likely need to be opened and searched."

Transport Canada will consider the feedback prior to devising any new regulations.


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