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Vancouver Airport Security

Vancouver Airport is a major transport hub on the western coast of North America, the second busiest in Canada behind Toronto Pearson. As with any airport, security is a top priority in Vancouver’s terminals, in an effort to keep safe the many passengers which pass through the doors and board planes there every day.
 
The terminals are not the place for jokes about bombs or terrorism- these along with unattended luggage can see you treated as as suspicious and possible disallowed to fly. Passengers may be subject to spot inspections within the gate lounge areas, so be prepared for these. Sniffer dogs may be involved to test for traces of drugs and other prohibited items. It is important that you truthfully answer any questions asked of you by security staff, and follow their instructions.
 
The major security checks happen when passing from the landside to airside part of the airport in preparation for your flight. It is necessary to clear pre-boarding screening before entering the gates area, at the checkpoints located in the Domestic, International, U.S. and South Terminals. Security screening is necessary for both domestic and international flights.
 
The agency in charge of security checks at Vancouver Airport is the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. The full list of screening procedures and banned items can be found on their website, but they are more or less the same as most security checkpoints. Do not pack anything in your carry-on luggage which could be considered a weapon or potential weapon, or a dangerous good. Think ahead when packing your carry-on bags- be sure to remove any stray nail files, pocket knives or nail scissors in your handbag to avoid delays and also having to give up these items. If in doubt, get online and find the list of banned items.
 
There are also restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on luggage. These must be in containers of less than 100 millilitres, and must collectively fit into a clear bag of one litre capacity or less. You may take onboard items purchased from an airline or airport retailer which are sealed in official security bags with a valid receipt.
 
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