Aviation security: partnering for excellence

July 27, 2016

Providing pre-board security at 28 Canadian airports is a tremendous responsibility, and GardaWorld is proud to play a critical role into it. Air safety and security rely on multiple organizations working in efficient partnerships with one another.

Transport Canada: defining policies and regulations

It all starts with Transport Canada, a federal governmental department overseeing all kinds of transportation, including road, rail and marine, as well as air. It’s their responsibility to set policies and regulations in place to govern the industry. In the pre-9/11 world, pre-board screening was performed at the local level, with limited national perspective. Airlines were responsible for meeting regulatory requirements for the screening of passengers and their belongings at airports in Canada. The Federal Government created the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) in response to the tragedy of 9-11.

CATSA: overseeing national implementation of security

CATSA focuses exclusively on the security aspects of air travel. It’s their job to ensure Transport Canada’s policies and regulations are applied consistently across Canada.

Today, CATSA is responsible for several core aviation security functions, including those associated with the screening of passengers, their carry-on and checked baggage, random screening of non-passengers, and the development and implementation of the Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) Program.

CATSA follows a third-party service delivery model. Through that model, it oversees aviation screening services carried out by three screening contractors at Canada’s 89 designated airports. The country is divided in four regions, GardaWorld is the contractor for two regions: the Prairies (AB, SK, MB, NWT) and Central (ON).

As part of its mandate, CATSA closely oversees the duties performed by its contractors, conducting daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly inspections and audits of their performance. It measures success through a variety of metrics, including verification testing, the consistent application of Standard Operating Procedures, the ability to quickly, effectively and efficiently process travelers.

GardaWorld: providing security and customer service

GardaWorld has the privilege of servicing 28 canadian airports. It provides the everyday pre-board security services by managing security checkpoint personnel, from employee recruiting, training, scheduling to the ongoing operations. Other responsibilities include managing employee relations, unions and collective bargaining agreements, internal communications, customer service and more, allowing CATSA to concentrate on their own responsibilities in regard to airport security.

In addition to CATSA’s program, GardaWorld has a robust internal oversight program. The ability to perform its own internal audits and performance reviews is vital to its business as it allows the organization to identify its strengths and share best practices amongst its teams in all airports. Even more importantly, its program allows employees to identify areas for continuous improvement, leading to implementation of preventative measures and corrective actions. It’s all part of GardaWorld’s policies of continuous improvement.

GardaWorld thrives thanks to these partnerships and to our continued efforts to improve our business model through our commitment to training, quality assurance and operational excellence.

Photo: Milosz Maslanka /