HRP Police Service Dog Mako sits next to a table with some of the items that have been seized from passengers at security. The items were on display during a holiday tips for travellers event the aiport held on Dec. 5. (Healey photo)

HALIFAX STANFIELD: Holiday travellers are being asked to check their list twice before getting to pre-boarding security at Halifax Stanfield Airport

From mid-December until the first week of January, there will be more flights bringing people together at Halifax Stanfield.

The airport, along with partners from CATSA and Halifax Regional Police, held a holiday tips for travellers event on Dec. 5 for media near the domestic security clearance area.

As travellers walked by behind them, officials explained to media on hand what some of the top items seized are and how to properly put other items in bins as part of the security clearance process.


Const. Susan Conrad, a Polise Service Dog handler of Mako with Halifax Regional Police, talked about some of the items that were on the table beside her.

“We have a lot of interesting items here that you wouldn’t expect to find in an airport lineup,” said Const. Conrad. “There are a number of things that people don’t realize can’t go through security and other people just didn’t realize they were in their bags.”

HRP Const. Susan Conrad answers questions from media at Halifax Stanfield Airport. (Healey photo)

Some of the items on the table included items that looked like guns but were actually fake; a cannabis grinder cannister that looked like a grenade; and some keychains; just to name a few of the items.

She spoke specifically about seeing more cat eye keychains being brought but having to be confiscated as they’re not allowed through.

“The cat eye keychains can very much be used as a weapon,” she said.


Const. Conrad said most people bringing items that had to be seized are good people and not individuals looking to cause trouble or using the items as weapons.

Bear mace is also something they have been seizing a lot of.

“Our advice to those travellers who will be hiking is to get your bear mace once you get to your destination, she said.

What about wrapped presents? That’s a no too.

“They can’t go through security,” said Const. Conrad as Mako the dog looked on next to her.


Sandra Alvarez with CATSA shows a snow globe. (Healey photo)

CATSA’s Sandra Alvarez pointed to a CPAP machine that was in one of the bins on display. She said what they want passengers to do is take the electronic machine out of it’s bag while leaving the masks and wires in the bag. She said to personalize it—with a sticky or other items in the bin.

The same should be done with a laptop, remove it out of its carry-on bag, while putting a sticky on it or putting your bags with liquids so you can ensure to grab the right one at the other end given the holiday season can be busy at security.

Other tips provided included:

1) Give yourself lots of time to safely get to the airport. We recommend arriving at

least 2 hours before your flight, particularly if you are checking bags.

2) Take time to understand what is and isn’t allowed in your carry-on – that’s a no

for wrapped gifts – at the following website. Liquids must be less than 3.4 ounces

(100 millilitres) and in a clear bag no larger than a litre.

3) There will be more flights during the holiday season, which may create longer lines

at airline check-in counters and security screening. Arriving early lets you get to

your gate with enough time to find the perfect last-minute gift for your loved

ones at our unique retail shops.

Current CATSA wait times at Halifax Stanfield can be found on the CATSA app or by

clicking here. Please note that the queue fluctuates and can build quickly.

For CATSA’s full list of tips, please visit


Tiffany Chase, with the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), said passengers should expect the airport to be busy as holiday travel picks up in a post-pandemic world.

“We are expecting that the travel demand that we saw pick up through the summer is going to continue through the holidays,” said Chase.

“There are lots of people going to reconnect with family and friends and go on that holiday they have not been able to in a long time.”