Canada begins mandatory employee biometric ID information collection at airports

Published 12 December 2005

Toronto airport leads the way in requiring employees to carry biometric ID to work

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is currently collecting data from the 1,200 GTAA employees for the purpose of putting that information on biometric IDs to be issued to each employee. As of February 2006, other airport workers, such as flight attendants, baggage handlers, caterers, tradesmen and even pilots, will have their personal information gathered and stored in the system’s central database in Ottawa. “Although we have many levels of security at Pearson [International Airport],” said a spokesperson, “this gives us another level of security. We can now be sure that the person who scans the card is the person the card was issued to. This is a general safety issue that will have no impact, per se, on customers.”

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the body regulating implementation of the program, said it will pay the $10 million it costs to install the system in twenty-nine Canadian airports. Participation will be mandatory under the law in April.

-read more in this report