“Transport Canada regularly reviews its policies and programs to ensure that they meet the changing aviation security environment and use security dollars in the most efficient way,” writes a Transport Canada spokesperson.
Transport Canada says it has not yet decided whether or not to implement to risk-based approach, and the potential implications are still unclear. If YXJ is assessed to be a low security risk, it could be removed from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s list of airports that employ security and screening services. Similarly, the Fort Nelson Airport does not have security screening before passengers board a plane, which is largely a cost saving measure.
News of the security assessment has already been met negatively by at least one local government group. In a letter to Minister of Transport, lnfrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel, the District of Taylor council maintains that it is “adamantly opposed” to losing security screening services at the nearby airport.
“Due to the northern location of our airport, the distance to other airports, and amount of industrial development in this area,” it writes, “to remove this service would have severe detrimental impacts to both the communities and the economy in our region.”
Council argues that the decision would mean flights from Fort St. John wouldn’t be accepted at secured terminals like at YVR and YYC, and could increase traffic on the region’s “already heavily congested” roadways.
No date has been given for Transport Canada’s decision.