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Canadians flying to the U.S. officially need to arrive at the airport even earlier than usual. Two of Canada’s major airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, announced that as of July 19, there will be new security screenings put into place for anyone flying from Canada into the U.S.

Air Canada explained in an advisory that these extra safety measures are necessary due to intelligence from the U.S. Deptartment of Homeland Security.

The new safety precautions will focus on screening personal electronic devices, including laptops and tablets. Passengers flying with any devices larger than a phone will be required to remove the device from its case during the screening process. Previously, passengers were only required to remove laptops from their bags, but still keep them in their cover or laptop sleeve.

WestJet has released a similar advisory to its customers, reiterating the enhanced security measures. This could mean that in addition to extra screening on personal devices, more security canine units may also be present at the airport.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, terrorist threats against commercial airlines continue to be a significant concern and leading factor in the increased level of security at airports. They even wrote on their website that “The United States and the global aviation community face an adaptive and agile enemy. Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft, and we have seen a spider web of threats to commercial aviation as terrorist pursue new attack methods.”

For passengers flying from Canada to the U.S., both Air Canada and WestJet recommend:

  • Arriving at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time, if not earlier.
  • Removing all personal devices larger than a smart phone from the case or sleeve before entering the security area.

Great, just imagine how busy airports will be during long weekends.