Transport Canada continues to tighten security at airports, which were thrown into chaos as a result of stricter security regulations in place in the wake of the attempted bombing of an airplane on Christmas Day.
Effective immediately, passengers headed to the United States will not be allowed to travel with carry-on bags, Transport Canada said in a statement.
Allowed on board will be the following: medication or medical devices, small purses, cameras, coats, items for care of infants, laptop computers, crutches, canes, walkers, containers carrying life sustaining items, a special needs item, musical instruments, or diplomatic or consular bags.
The RCMP are also now aiding with security at Canada's airports. About 40 officers are now working at Toronto's Pearson airport and more are on the way as a result of actions taken by Transport Minister John Baird. His chief of staff, Chris Froggatt, confirmed RCMP officers were dispatched last night. Tired of watching the long lineups and chaos at Pearson yesterday, Mr. Baird called his colleague, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan, and requested the back-up.
CATSA, the Crown agency in charge of airport security, clearly could not handle the backlogs. Planes were delayed and there were nearly 140 cancellations, causing not only inconvenience but great expense to airlines. The RCMP are making a huge difference, says an airline source.
Pearson remains busy today a few days after the failed Christmas Day terror attack on a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit. But an airport official says Air Canada began consolidating some flights to ease the crunch.
Lengthy lineups snaked through the airport Sunday as transport officials brought in additional security measures such as one carry-on bag per passenger.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority says it tried to get the message out over the weekend about extra security to speed processing.
GTAA spokeswoman Trish Krale says passengers having to reshuffle their baggage added to "some of the confusion and some of the delays."
Ms. Krale could not say how long the ramped-up security measures would be in force, saying that decision is up to Transport Canada. "Right now, we're just working through it as best we can, but it's up to Transport (Canada) to put a time frame to it."
A 23-year-old man from Nigeria, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was charged Saturday with trying to destroy the plane by igniting an explosive substance hidden in his pants.
With files from Canadian PressReport Typo/Error