Government of Canada and airline industry take further action to reduce congestion at Canada’s busiest airports

Jul 6, 2022 Ottawa Transportation Canada

The Minister of Transport, the Honorable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Health, the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honorable Marco Mendicino, and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honorable Randy Boissonnault, issued this update today. on the progress made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce waiting times and congestion at Canadian airports.

Working together

On Monday, July 4, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Air Canada to discuss current and planned actions the airline is taking to rapidly attract more employees and strengthen core operations to better respond to the challenges of demand. rapidly increasing. This meeting followed similar meetings Minister Alghabra had with the CEOs of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and WestJet last week.

Transport Canada also meets regularly with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), airports and airlines along with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and NAV CANADA to find solutions to address the bottlenecks that affect travel.

Global phenomenon and measures adopted

In Canada, June 2022 air departure traffic was 58 times higher than in the spring of 2020. By comparison, global travel volumes are up more than eight times from the low point during the pandemic, and airports around the world the world are feeling the impact. From too many flights to understaffing, there’s no single reason for these delays, but the Government of Canada and airline industry partners continue to make significant efforts to add resources and streamline processes to ease congestion and help travelers move, including:

  • Since April, nearly 1,200 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. With this, the number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport now exceeds 100 percent of projected requirements for this summer based on projected traffic.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced on June 25, 2022, the creation of a new task force to improve the processing of passports and immigration applications, as well as to monitor the situation at Canadian airports.
  • CBSA is maximizing officer availability and there are now more student border services officers working.
  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is working with the CBSA to make additional kiosks and eGates available in the customs areas of Toronto Pearson International Airport.
  • Mandatory random COVID-19 testing will remain temporarily suspended at all airports, for travelers who qualify as fully vaccinated, until mid-July, when random testing will return and testing will be completed outside of airports.
  • CBSA and PHAC streamlined the process for identifying travelers who need to be tested at Toronto Pearson.
  • The Canadian Transportation Agency has developed a new information resource to help passengers experiencing flight cancellations, delays, or lost luggage issues during their trip.
  • On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Provisional Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to allow the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated instances of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN noncompliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances soon after takeoff, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) continued enforcement efforts on non-compliant travelers, particularly those who refuse to comply.
  • The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN to make it faster and easier for travelers to use.
    • Travelers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the optional Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration feature on ArriveCAN to submit their immigration and customs declaration prior to arrival. As of June 28, this option was available on the ArriveCAN mobile app in addition to the web version. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montreal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.
    • Early usage data shows it’s 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travelers use ArriveCAN to file in advance instead of paper, shaving approximately 40 seconds from a 2-minute transaction. With the thousands of travelers passing through Toronto Pearson International Airport using the CBSA Advance Declaration option on ArriveCAN, this has the potential to save hours of processing time each day.
    • Frequent travelers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “saved traveler” feature on ArriveCAN. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information for reuse on future trips. The information is pre-populated in ArriveCAN the next time the traveler completes a shipment, making it faster and more convenient.
    • Beginning June 28, travelers receive a digital brochure explaining their entry and post-border requirements based on their ArriveCAN shipment for quick and easy access to the latest information on travel and health measures .

We are making progress, but challenges remain. A significant number of travelers continue to face travel delays, flight cancellations and problems with airport check-in and baggage services. We continue to take action with airline industry partners to reduce delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress.

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