The Canadian airport security market is a growing market that is highly receptive to new products and technologies required for the protection of airports across Canada. According to Transport Canada’s recent reports, air passenger traffic is expected to grow 4.3 percent annually through 2013. This growth will generate the need for increased airport capacity through new construction and upgrades of passenger terminals. As a result, more advanced security products will be required as innovative methods of searching passengers, cargo and personnel will be implemented in Canada’s major airports. This represents good opportunities for U.S. manufacturers of airport security equipment.
For the purpose of this report, airport security equipment has been segmented into the following subsectors: personnel, baggage and cargo scanners and access control systems. Given the sensitive natureof airport scanning and screening security equipment installations, exact numbers for this sector are hard to establish. However, industry sources have reported that this category is estimated to grow two to three percent through 2013. This growth is mainly attributed to airport expansion projects scheduled in the coming years due to the increase in passenger traffic.
The total market demand in Canada for airport security access control equipment in 2009 is estimated at $516 million, with an expected growth rate of five to six percent for 2010. Imports fulfill approximately seventy-seven percent of this demand amounting to $398 million. It is estimated that U.S. companies will supply approximately fifty-three percent of these imports in 2009. While all the major manufacturers of airport security access control equipment are present in the Canadian market, excellent opportunities exist for small and medium-sized companies offering innovative niche products or add-on components.
Growth in the Canadian airport security market will continue to be in electronic physical access control systems, especially using biometrics, SMART cards and contactless technology, which can also be used to secure data system access. Airport authorities are constantly searching for innovative methods ofsearching passengers and cargo.
The largest purchaser of airport security equipment is the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). CATSA is responsible for screening passengers and cargo. They announce airport security equipment procurements through MERX, the government electronic tendering system or through a list of pre-approved manufacturers and installers. U.S. companies looking to penetrate the Canadian airportsecurity market should consider subscribing to MERX as well as working with pre-approved local installers of airport security equipment.
Canada operates 1,369 airports. There are twenty-seven airports in Canada which are designated as National Airport Systems or NAS airports. To receive this designation, the airport must be located in a national, provincial or territorial capital, or have a count of 200,000 passengers a year or more. Canada’s largest airports by passenger traffic per year are:
a) Lester B. Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario with approximately thirty-two million passengers;
b) Vancouver International Airport, in Vancouver, British Columbia with approximately eighteen million passengers; and
c) Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, in Montreal, Quebec with approximately thirteen million passengers
Transport Canada has predicted air passenger traffic to have an annual average growth rate of 4.3 percent through 2013.
In May 2009, the Government of Canada announced that it would invest $355.8 million supporting CATSA’s security projects. These initiatives include the investment in technologies such as biometric identification technology, mobile screening equipment, multi-view x-ray units and new screening lanes.
As a result of this funding, Canada’s major airports will soon have new x-ray scanning gear for carry-on baggage that will decrease waiting time at security checkpoints. This equipment will be in airports byFebruary 2010 and systems will be installed throughout the year in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
By Connie Irrera and Darian Tomas