New rules on powder products, electronics at YVR this holiday season

It's going to be busy at Vancouver International Airport this holiday season, with an estimated 78,000 to 83,000 travellers passing through the terminals each day.

Vancouver International Airport is expecting as many as 83,000 travellers per day over the next few weeks

Vancouver International Airport's rules on knives, powders and electronics have changed. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Vancouver International Airport is expecting as many as 83,000 travellers on peak days this holiday season, prompting a reminder to be aware of the security rules before packing your bags. 

A few new rules for airline passengers went into effect in November, including changes regarding knives, powders and electronics. ​


  • Small knife blades measuring six centimetres or less, which is about the size of a large paper clip, will now be allowed on domestic and international flights.
  • But knife blades of any length are still banned on flights to the United States through pre-clearance facilities.
  • Razor blades and box-cutters of any size remain prohibited.

Powders and Granular Material

  • Certain powders and granular material — including sea salt, foot powder, cooking powder and sand — are limited to 350 ml or less, which is roughly the size of a soda can.


  • While personal electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are allowed on flights, they can be selected at random in security lineups for inspection. 
  • Ensure you are able to take them out of their case and can demonstrate that they can be powered up. 
  • The new screening measures came into place in July, the changes mirror measures instituted in the U.S. and are in place for all domestic and international flights. 

Liquids, non-solid food and personal products in your carry-on must still be 100 ml/100 g or less. They must also be kept in a clear, resealable plastic bag that is no more than 1 L in capacity. 

For a full list of restrictions go to the CATSA or YVR website.

WATCH: Look at some of the 'bizarre' items that were confiscated at YVR this week: 

Passengers tried to bring these 'bizarre' items through security just this past week. 1:06

Holiday Travel Tips

To ensure smooth travel, Mathieu Larocque with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) suggests making sure you don't wrap any of the gifts in your carry-on luggage. 

"For whatever reason we need to inspect the content, the wrapping has to come off. They have post-security wrapping service here in YVR, so just wait [until] after security or at your destination," he said. 

Larocque also recommends wearing clothes that are easy to remove.

"If you have your little kids all bundled up in winter jackets, boots and mitts, they have to come off before the screening, so make sure everyone is wearing easy to remove outerwear, so we don't have to struggle with those during the checkpoint," he said. 

If you need additional assistance, have mobility issues, or are a big family, you can use the family and special needs lane.

About the Author

Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at