Bullets, swords and fake grenades seized at Canadian airports in 2013
Vancouver Airport Authority displays thousands of pairs of scissors that have been confiscated at Vancouver International Airport. CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL — Cane swords, bullets and umbrella-shaped rifles were among more than 406,000 objects confiscated at Canadian airports last year.
QMI Agency obtained the data from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which oversees security at 28 major airports.
CATSA posts an exhaustive list of things you can't take onto a plane, but many passengers nonethless check their common sense at the airport door.
"Big knives, small knives, all sorts of knives, we had more than 100,000 knives (seized) last year," CATSA spokesman Mathieu Larocque told QMI Agency.
"If we see a butterfly knife in a bag or on a person, we have to call the police."
Screeners also confiscated 122,655 flammable or explosive items in the first 11 months of 2013.
One botched seizure led CATSA to shore up its defences.
Screeners at Edmonton International Airport took a live pipe bomb out of a teenager's luggage on September 20 and actually offered it back to him.
He refused the bomb but was allowed to board a flight to Mexico.
Standard CATSA procedure is for screeners to call police when they come across such items, and even fake bombs can get travellers in trouble.
Passengers were stopped in 2013 with grenade-shaped flashlights, stress balls, and even a grenade-shaped marijuana grinder.
"It's very hard to tell whether it's real or not so there's a whole set of procedures in place to ensure that the weapon is not live," said Larocque.