Travellers Requiring Mobility Assistance at Canadian International Airports
Memorandum D2-5-3

Ottawa, February 24, 2015

This document is also available in PDF (41 KB) [help with PDF files]

In Brief

  • This memorandum has been updated as a result of a technical review.

This memorandum outlines the procedure for travellers requiring mobility assistance to report to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when entering Canada at Canadian international airports.

Guidelines and General Information

1. The intent of the guideline is to ensure the optimum degree of security regarding the separation of the traveller from other airport users (i.e. sterility requirements) while the traveller is moving to the inspection area without placing undue stress on the traveller.


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

Primary Inspection Line (PIL)
the term is used to refer to the point at which the person entering Canada makes a report of his or her person and goods as required under the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The CBSA has booths from which the officers conduct primary examinations.
is the state of physical isolation of passengers and goods from all other airport users.

3. At some locations, there are stairs between the aircraft and the PIL area preventing travellers in wheelchairs from following normal access routes to the PIL area.

4. Airline ground agents are responsible for delivering travellers in wheelchairs to the PIL area by the most direct route, which may be through the domestic areas of the terminal building. Whenever possible, travellers in wheelchairs should go directly to the PIL area. If this is not possible, they may proceed to the secondary examination area for questioning.

5. Airline ground agents are to ensure that travellers requiring mobility assistance, their goods and baggage are kept separate from other operations of the airport while en route to the PIL.

6. Persons accompanying travellers in wheelchairs should follow the normal access routes and rejoin the traveller in the inspection area. In cases where the traveller in the wheelchair requires constant attendance due to illness or age, the companion may accompany the airline ground agent and the traveller in the wheelchair at all times.

Additional Information

7. 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:
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Customs Act
Presentation of Persons (2003) Regulations
Other references:
Superseded memorandum D:
D2-5-3 dated February 1, 2006
Date modified: