Stun Guns, Fireworks & Pocket Knives, Oh My!

Stun Guns, Fireworks & Pocket Knives, Oh My!

Airport Screening Officers Discovered Plenty of Unique Items in 2012

According to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), airport screening officers at some of Canada’s most highly trafficked gateways screened more than 51 million passengers in 2012. Sure, the occasional bottle of water tries to make its way through in a carry-on bag, but some of these discoveries had airport screening officers truly baffled.

A metal detector alarm led Whitehorse airport screening officers to search a passenger’s shoe, which revealed a knife concealed in the sole. The passenger told screening officers the knife was there for “good luck.” What ever happened to a good old fashioned rabbit’s foot?

A passenger at the Vancouver International Airport believed that carrying 22 butterfly knives  through security was perfectly normal. Airport screening officers discovered them in his bag, along with eight brass knuckles and four fireworks. The items were confiscated by police and the passenger was arrested.

At Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, a World War II aficionado’s travel plans were halted after the x-ray identified what looked like a grenade. A subsequent search and police intervention found that the item was a replica of a World War II grenade. Replica or not, grenades are not allowed on board.

Airport screening officers in Vancouver discovered a six-inch hunting knife as a man set off the metal detector. But wait, there’s more! In the course of the search, they also found 30 grams of marijuana and a retractable steel baton. Police were called and the passenger was arrested.

When the shape of a gun was observed at the x-ray machine at Toronto-Pearson International Airport, screening officers inspected the carry-on bag and found a prohibited stun gun. Stun guns are not only banned from aircraft but also illegal to possess under Canada’s Criminal Code.

Another passenger set off the metal detector alarm at Toronto-Pearson International. Airport screening officers found multiple rolls of coins in the waistband of his pants. For future reference, coins are allowed in carry-on bags so there’s really no reason to stash your cash in this seemingly uncomfortable way.

CATSA, established in 2002, is a Crown corporation responsible for:

  • Pre-board screening – the screening of passengers, their carry-on baggage and personal belongings
  • Hold-baggage screening – the screening of checked baggage
  • Non-passenger screening – the screening of non-passengers on a random basis
  • Restricted Area Identity Card – the administration of access control to airport restricted areas through biometric identifiers

As the busy spring break travel season approaches, CATSA reminds passengers to visit catsa.gc.ca before going to the airport to be fully aware of the items that are prohibited aboard the plane. Knowing this in advance makes airport screening much faster and easier for everyone.

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