Facilities for Passengers Transiting at Canadian International Airports
Memorandum D2-5-2

ISSN 2369-2391

Ottawa, September 24, 2015

This document is also available in PDF (52 Kb) [help with PDF files]

In Brief

A modification was made to the “Design Requirement” section.

This memorandum outlines the Canadian Inspection Service's guidelines to assist Canadian airport authorities and air carriers in the design and operation of international transit facilities. The requirements are meant to ensure that facilities are designed and operated in a manner that is consistent with Canadian government position on passenger commingling.

Guidelines and General Information


1. For the purposes of this memorandum, the following definitions apply:

Canadian Inspection Service (CIS)
refers to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Health Canada, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
is the state of physical isolation of passengers and goods from all other airport users.
Transiting passenger
is a person who arrives by air from a foreign country and deplanes at a Canadian airport to await passage to another foreign country by air without undergoing Canadian inspection formalities.

Design Requirements

2. The design of the transit facility must meet the following requirements of the CIS:

Operational Requirements

3. Proposals for transit passenger facilities will be considered on an individual airport by airport basis. The CIS will ensure that any concerns are addressed in the design phase of the facility and that any operational constraints, including any limitation on hours of operation, are identified during the planning process.

4. Air carriers and concession operators will operate the transit facility in accordance with the procedures determined by the CIS and the airport authority.

5. Air carriers may transfer checked transit baggage directly from the arriving aircraft to the departing aircraft, subject to the terms and conditions specified by the CIS, and the transfer must take place in an area separate from other baggage operations of the airport.

6. Air carriers are responsible for retrieving all checked baggage belonging to passengers when requested to do so by the CIS officer in order to allow the passenger(s) to present their baggage for inspection.

7. If for any reason transiting passengers do not board a foreign bound aircraft, the air carrier is responsible for ensuring that passengers and all of their baggage and goods are delivered directly to the CIS facility.

Additional Information

8. All requests to establish transit passenger facilities should be directed in writing to the appropriate airport authority.

9. The airport authority will consult with all interested agencies, departments, and the CIS.

10. All inquiries concerning CBSA requirements for the operation of transit facilities should be directed to:

Canada Border Services Agency
Program and Policy Management Division
Traveller Programs Directorate
E-mail address: tbpd-dpfv@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

11. For more information, within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.


Issuing office:
Program and Policy Management Division
Traveller Programs Directorate
Programs Branch
Headquarters file:
Legislative references:
Customs Act
Other references:
Superseded memorandum D:
D2-5-2 dated March 18, 2015
Date modified: