The largest professional pilot group in Canada called on the federal government to overhaul the country's aviation security system.
In a policy white paper, the 3,000-member Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) called for sweeping changes to Canada's air security regime, including:
- Making a single federal government department responsible for civil aviation security, assuming responsibilities delegated to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and local airport authorities
- Shifting emphasis from passenger screening to pro-active policing and intelligence gathering, bolstering existing policing activity at airports
- Combining existing closed circuit television systems with facial recognition software to scan for known security threats at major Canadian airports
- Use of behavioral pattern recognition by police to better detect security threats at airports Training airline flight crews and customer service staff in security techniques so they can assist police in spotting and dealing with potential security risks
- Beefing up the screening and monitoring of ground crews and ground access points at airports
"Canada's aviation security system must be revised to emphasize intelligence gathering and sharing, as well as pro-active policing at major airports," said ACPA President Captain Paul Strachan. "We can make better use of existing assets and people to create a seamless aviation security system that will better protect the travelling public. "Taking a more comprehensive approach to aviation security requires that that responsibility cannot rest with civilian authorities or crown corporations," Strachan said. "A single federal department must assume this responsibility, so that all of the government's intelligence-gathering and policing assets can work in concert to counter air security threats."