Small kirpans permitted on flights under new Transport Canada rules

THE World Sikh Organization of Canada on Monday welcomed the decision by Transport Canada to allow blades of up to 6 cm in length on domestic and international flights in Canada. As of November 27, kirpans with blades of up to 6 cm will be permitted on Canadian flights.

Earlier this year, the WSO had reached out to Transport Canada encouraging the adoption of the international standard so that Sikhs wearing the kirpan could be accommodated.

According to Monday’s announcement, Transport Canada has amended the prohibited items list so that “very small knife blades (6 cm or less—about the size of a large paper clip) will not be prohibited on domestic or international flights.”

The exemption does not, however, apply to any flights to the United States.

Sikhs in the UK have already been permitted to fly with kirpans with blades of up to 6 cm for some time in accordance with European Union standards.

Mukhbir Singh

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “We welcome today’s announcement. We had shared our concerns with Transport Canada last spring with respect to the accommodation of small kirpans and remained in communication with them over this matter. By adopting the European Union standard on blade length, Sikh travelers in Canada will be able to wear kirpans with blades of up to 6 cm in length. It is important to understand, however, that the size requirements will be enforced strictly and Sikh travelers wishing to travel with their kirpan meet the size requirements.”


  1. I don’t have anything against Sikhs, but then why can’t I carry my two-inch neck knife, or my box cutter with a one inch blade? Hell, they won’t let me fly with fingernail clippers!

    • The small version of the kirpan is no threat to anyone. It is a religious symbol and respecting the right of Sikhs to wear it is good for all minorities as well as the majority Christian community which itself is split into various churches and have their own separate issues. (Incidentally, I am Christian.)

  2. Why are we bending the rules for different religious groups, when the laws for all Canadians is they can not carry any perceived weapon, knitting needles, nail clippers, nail files. Etc. If it is ceremonial then leave it at home.

    • Didn’t we all bend rules AGAINST the Aboriginals – the original inhabitants of Canada? Let’s not be HYPOCRITES please!

  3. If a Kirpan is a religious item for Sikhs to wear, and they are allowed to wear them on a Canadian flight, then they are the only ones on that flight with an item that can be used as a weapon. Not so? My request would be that the Kirpan would have to be dulled so that it no longer represented any danger.
    Unless they have 100% proof that all Sikhs are not a danger to anyone! I would assume that no one could give a garuantee of such a magnitude of any people group. All people groups have a few people that are not faithful to their beliefs.

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