Government of Canada continues fight to reduce airport delays

The Government of Canada and air industry partners are continuing the fight to take significant action to increase resources and streamline processes to ease airport congestion and delays.

Government of Canada continues fight to reduce airport delays

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, have issued an update on the progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times at Canadian airports.

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take significant action to increase resources and streamline processes to ease airport congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Moving random mandatory testing out of airports

As of 19 July 2022, mandatory random testing resumed for those who qualify as fully vaccinated travellers at Toronto Pearson (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), and Montréal-Trudeau (YUL) airports. All testing for air travellers arriving in Canada, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, is now being completed outside of airports. Mandatory random testing is not taking place at airports.

Passengers arriving in Canada selected for random testing will receive an email within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration and will complete their test either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test.

Resuming mandatory random testing outside of airports will allow the Government of Canada to maintain its ability to quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation, while helping alleviate congestion issues in airports.

Collaborating with air industry partners

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership at airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving. This week, the Minister met with the leadership of Vancouver International Airport, as well as Kamloops (YKA) and Prince George (YXS) airports, and later this week will be meeting with Edmonton International Airport (YEG).

Transport Canada continues to meet regularly with airports and airlines alongside the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA to find solutions to address bottlenecks affecting travel.

Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing

Since April 2022, more than 1,500 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100 per cent of summer target levels. Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.

CBSA is making more border services officers available at the most congested airports, has temporarily re-hired retired officers and has hired additional student border services officers.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson 

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the CBSA are adding more kiosks and eGates in the CBSA hall at Toronto Pearson Airport, Terminal 1. In addition, CBSA continues to find innovative solutions and streamline processes to make the flow of passengers smoother, easier, and more efficient during peak arrival times.

Improving ArriveCAN

The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN with additional features for travellers to use.

Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the Advance CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. Early usage data shows that it is 30 per cent faster at the kiosk when passengers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance rather than on arrival – shaving approximately 40 seconds off a two-minute transaction. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the coming months, including Montréal-Trudeau International Airport later this month (July 2022).

Frequent travellers are also encouraged to take advantage of the ‘saved traveller’ feature in ArriveCAN. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.

As of 28 June 2022, travellers are receiving a digital handout explaining their entry and post-border requirements based on their ArriveCAN submission so they have easy and quick access to the latest health and travel measures information.

Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations, and lost or delayed baggage

The Canadian Transportation Agency has developed a new information resource to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel. This guide provides answers to many frequently asked travel questions and advises passengers of their rights under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations should their flights be delayed or cancelled or in the event their baggage is lost, damaged or delayed.

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