Canadian travelers are trying to understand what new measures the Department of Transport has imposed on select Canada-bound flights, following Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s ambiguous statements this week that stricter rules are in place.
In March, the United States and Britain began prohibiting certain electronic devices from airline cabins on flights originating from some countries in the Middle East and Africa.
“I did put in place some measures to increase security for flights coming from certain countries where the destination was Canada, and those measures have now been put in place to ensure greater security for our air passengers,” Garneau said after the government’s weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.
He said the latest decision is based on the government’s “evaluation of risk” and noted that in the past, Canada has imposed similar restrictions for flights from other continents. “I’m not in a position to tell you from where for obvious security reasons, and I’m not in a position to tell you specifically the measures either, and you will understand that for security reasons we don’t talk about these things, but we have, following our analysis, put in place additional measures,” he said.
Steve Glenn, CEO of Executive Travel in Lincoln, NB, said the electronic ban has caused a great deal of headaches for business travelers headed to those countries. “Corporate IT departments don’t see loaner laptops from airlines as a solution,” he said. “There are too many security risks. Offering to secure a business traveler’s laptop in a special box, like some of the airlines are doing, helps for some travelers, but overall, this isn’t make business travel easier to these destinations.”
Canada has not announced similar electronics prohibitions, and Garneau says such devices continue to be permitted on airline cabins.