5 new Canadian airports to accept NEXUS cards
A Canada Border Services Agency officer speaks with a traveller at the Nexus office at the airport in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:28AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:32AM EDT
Ottawa is increasing the number of airports that accept NEXUS cards in a bid to speed up the border clearance process and reduce wait times for travellers.
NEXUS cards are intended to speed up the airport screening process by pre-approving frequent “low risk” travellers and allowing them to move more quickly through customs.
Card holders are now able to use the passes at five new airports in St. John’s, Moncton, Quebec City and Kelowna, as well as Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport.
Steven Fletcher, Canada’s minister of state for transport, announced the changes at a Tuesday news conference at the Toronto airport.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring the security of Canadians travelling within our borders and abroad while reducing wait times at screening," he said in a statement.
By moving “trusted travellers” through customs faster, the government maintains that border guards will be able to monitor potentially high-risk travellers more closely.
Earlier this year, however, reports suggested that major air carriers were not training staff members to recognize the cards.
As well, Air Canada insists that anyone travelling to and from the United States must carry a valid passport, even if they have a NEXUS card on hand.
The program was initially only available in Canada’s eight largest airports, and recently expanded to include flights to the United States.
The NEXUS program is a joint venture between the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A five-year NEXUS membership costs $50. Applicants must be interviewed by a CBSA officer or U.S. customs official before a card is issued.