Since we’re here to help make your travel experience as stress-free as possible, below you’ll find information on pre-board screening, arriving at YYJ from an international point of departure, and other helpful resources.
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) oversees screening at all Canadian Airports, including Victoria International Airport (YYJ). It is a Crown corporations responsible for securing specific elements of the air transportation system – from passenger and baggage screening to screening airport workers.
Use CATSA’s online guide and search tool to determine if an item can be packed in your carry-on vs. checked baggage.
If the item is not listed, visit CATSA’s website, call them at 1-888-294-2202 or reach them on Facebook or Twitter (8am to 4pm EST Monday- Friday). You can even send a picture or ask a question.
For items that require special handling, please check with your airline.
All travellers are required to go through pre-board screening. After check-in or, if you already have your boarding pass and carry-on baggage only, proceed to the Security Checkpoint.
As you approach the Security Checkpoint, a Screening Officer will scan your boarding pass. You will place you carry-on bag and personal items including laptop, purse, coat, belt and gels and liquids into the bin. You may also be requested to remove your shoes. The bin will be sent through an x-ray machine and you will be asked to walk through metal detector.
If you are selected for additional screening, you may be receive a physical search or requested to proceed to the full-body scanner to ensure safety.
Reasons for additional screening may include:
- an alarm was triggered in the walk-through metal detector
- your bag triggered an alarm in the x-ray machine
- your bag was randomly selected for additional screening
Once you have been screened by a Screening Officer, follow the way-finding signage to your departure gate.
Some helpful tips for stress-free screening
Tag your carry-on and checked baggage with your contact information
Give yourself plenty of time to get through pre-board screening, especially during peak travel periods. At YYJ, early morning, mid-morning and early evening)
Leave empty baggage carts at the designated location outside of the security checkpoint
Have your boarding pass and identification ready to present to the Screening Officer. Ensure your phone is charged if you are relying on your phone to host your boarding pass.
Never make jokes about firearms, weapons or bombs in an airport period.
Pack liquids, gels and aerosols properly. Containers less than 100ml must fit into a 1L re-sealable, clear plastic bag. Containers over 100ml must be stored in your checked baggage. Some items are exempted but do need to be declared at security. Read the list of exemptions Liquids, Non-solid Food & Personal Items | CATSA | ACSTA (catsa-acsta.gc.ca)
One bottle of liquid sanitizer up to 100ml is permitted in carry-on baggage and does not need to contained in a clear plastic bag.
Empty and discard beverages before going through security. There is a liquid disposal sink located just past the entrance into the security checkpoint. Water bottles can be refilled in of the water-bottle filling hydration stations post-security.
Know the rules for travelling with cannabis. It is illegal to travel outside of Canada with cannabis. Review the legal amounts of cannabis you can bring through security when travelling in Canada. Cannabis (marijuana) | CATSA | ACSTA (catsa-acsta.gc.ca)
Canada Border Services Agency
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for border clearance processes at the airport including supporting the flow of legitimate travellers and goods and enforcing security measures. CBSA commercial counter services are available from 08:30 – 16:30 Monday to Friday and traveller border processing is administered for all arriving international flights.
This border clearance checklist will help to make your border crossing go smoothly. Travellers – Border Reminder Checklist (cbsa-asfc.gc.ca)
CBSA is committed to providing the best possible service, which includes helping you know what to expect when you arrive at the Canadian border. For travel tips from CBSA, Travel tips (cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
A preclearance facility enables U.S bound passengers to clear passport control in Canada and land in the U.S. as a domestic passenger.
Victoria International Airport does not currently have a preclearance facility. If travellers are connecting through a Canadian airport with US preclearance, you will clear there or at your US destination.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
If you are flying to Canada or transiting through a Canadian airport, you may need an Electronic Travel Authorization. An eTA is is required for citizens from visa-exempt countries. Exceptions include American citizens and travellers with a valid visa.
Please visit the Government of Canada’s website to find out about eTA and how to apply. Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) – Canada.ca
Travelling with animals
Check with your airline for rules about flying with animals. Each airline has policies for travelling with or transporting animals.
Animal relief areas
There are three animal relief areas located at the airport including:
- Outside of the airport, located on departures front curb and arrivals across the crosswalk. Two are located outside of the air terminal building.
- At the departures.
- Lower passenger departure lounge, main level washroom corridor.
In 2017, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) is implemented an Animals/Pets Policy that is in keeping with Federal and Municipal legislations designed to enhance public health and the safety of all airport users. Aligning the policy with North Saanich Animal Control Bylaw No. 751, Transport Canada Traffic on the Land Side of Airports Regulations and Airport Traffic Regulations, enables VAA, its designees and partner agencies to reinforce the rules to increase awareness, encourage selfregulation and to ensure adherence.
The bylaw and regulations states that:
- Animals shall not be o left at large on land which is not owned by the owner of the animal o permitted to cry or bark in a manner which disturbs peace o confined in an enclosed space or vehicle without adequate ventilation
- Owners of animals shall be responsible for clean-up and removal of feces/urine. VAA has two designated pet relief areas located on the grass berm across from the air terminal building which are equipped with waste bags and receptacles to facilitate the clean-up.
UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE PROHIBITED
Violations of VAA’s Animals/Pets Policy, will initially be investigated by Airport Security staff with the primary goal of achieving voluntary compliance. A violator who is non-compliant shall face further investigation by a Capital Regional District (CRD) Bylaw Officer or the RCMP and may be subject to penalties under North Saanich Animal Control Bylaw or Transport Canada Airport Traffic Regulations.
Air carrier travel procedures for animals in cabin, in baggage compartment or in cargo remain in effect, owners are expected to comply accordingly.