2019-20 Summary of Aviation Security Inspections


Transport Canada's Aviation Security Program focuses on managing the risks of unlawful acts of interference with the aviation system. To meet this goal, the program uses a broad set of policies, regulations and security measures that help protect air travel and trade.

The program involves the following regulated entities:

  • designated aerodromes
  • primary security line partners
  • commercial air carriers
  • cargo secure supply chain participants, and
  • the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

Transportation Security Inspectors observe, interview, document, review, test and enforce Canada's aviation security regulations. Transport Canada also oversees foreign air carriers for on-site compliance and to assess their vulnerability at last points of departure to Canada.

Regulatory authorizations

The Aviation Security Program also issues regulatory authorizations like:

  • Canadian Aviation Documents for secure supply chain program participants
  • screening officer designations for screening officers, and
  • exemptions

Inspection cycle

The Aviation Security Program oversees the security of the aviation sector using a risk-based process to prioritize inspections over a three year cycle. This process uses threats, vulnerabilities and impacts to assess the risks. From this, around 100 inspections are planned for the areas of most concern. 

In addition to planned inspections, the program also conducts unplanned or reactive inspections to respond to incidents or follow-up on previously identified non-compliances (issues).

Inspection activities, results and statistics
Type of inspection Planned Completedtable note 1
Planned 8,610 7,167
Reactive 688 732
Regulatory authorization 1,526 1,496
Table note
Table note 1

The number of completed inspections was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Return to table note 1 referrer


Due to sensitive nature of this information, the program can't disclose our common observations, findings and trends.


The Aviation Security Program is working hard to evaluate inspections and respond both proactively, and reactively, as needed. The program is also modernizing our systems and making sure our processes can support a strong, efficient and effective aviation security oversight regime.

At the end of this fiscal year, the flexibility of our oversight regime allowed the program to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was done by quickly implementing oversight activities to validate the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due To Covid-19.

Despite the unpredictability of the pandemic, the program was able to roll-out oversight reporting tools to make sure that information on the interim order was available to policy makers. Our work validating the order has been a key part of keeping the travelling public safe and communicating with Canada's aviation stakeholders.

Contact information

Please email your questions or comments about this report to: aviationsecurity-sureteaerienne@tc.gc.ca.