Saturday, July 14, 2007

Understanding CATSA; The Canadian Air Transport Security Agency

One of the challenges I have with keeping up with the needs of readers of this blog comes about in equitably dealing with the divergeant needs of corporation heads, association executives, and those simply looking to sell to government. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge!

In meeting this challenge, I endeavor to highlight a particular federal government agency, crown corporation, or department from time to time. In this post, I'm highlighting CATSA; the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency.

CATSA's responsibilities fall into six major areas:

  • Pre-board screening of passengers and their belongings;
    Acquisition, deployment, operation and maintenance of explosives detection systems at airports;

  • Contracting for RCMP policing services on selected flights and all flights to Reagan National Airport;

  • Implementation of a restricted area identification card;

  • The screening of non-passengers entering airport restricted areas;

  • Contributions for supplemental airport policing services.

  • There are four pieces of legislation for which the agency is responsible:

    CATSA is governed by a Board of Directors composed of eleven members, including the Chair, Mr. D. Ian Glen, appointed by the Governor-in-Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport. Of the current eight members, two were nominated by airport representatives, and two were nominated by airline representatives.

    The creation of CATSA as a separate agency means that those looking to lobby or influence air transport policy need to understand the governing bodies involved. CATSA has the autonomy from Transport Canada necessary to implement private-sector expertise with the accountability and public confidence of a government department.
    Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies, a public affairs & government relations consultancy. He brings a number of years of understanding of working with various government agencies and policy makers. You can subscribe now to his monthly public affairs newsletter by visiting the newsletter section of his website.

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