The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue work on reducing traveller wait times and congestion at Canada’s busiest airports
June 30, 2022 Ottawa Transport Canada
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, issued this update today on progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.
This week, Minister Alghabra met once again with the CEOs of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and WestJet. They discussed current and planned actions being taken by industry to quickly bring on more employees and to bolster core operations to better respond to the challenges of rapidly increasing demands as the number of Canadians travelling by air continues to grow. Minister Alghabra will also meet next week with the CEO of Air Canada.
The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take steps to ease congestion in airports and bring traveller wait times down, including:
- 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.
- On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to enable the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated cases of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN non-compliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances shortly after take-off, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) continuing enforcement efforts on non-compliant travellers, particularly those who refuse to come into compliance.
- The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.
- Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport will be able to save time by using the Advance Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of 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 Montréal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.
- 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. The information is pre-populated in ArriveCAN the next time the traveller completes a submission, which makes it faster and more convenient.
- As of June 28, travellers receive 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.
- Since April, just over 1,000 Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) screening officers have been hired across Canada. With this, the number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport is now over 100 percent of the targeted requirements for this summer based on projected traffic.
- CBSA is maximizing officer availability and additional Student Border Services Officers are now at work.
- CBSA and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority are making available additional kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.
- CBSA and PHAC streamlined the process to identify travellers who are required to undergo testing at Toronto Pearson.
- Mandatory random COVID-19 testing will remain temporarily suspended at all airports, for travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated, until mid-July, when the random testing will return, and tests will be completed outside of the airports.
The actions we’ve taken since the beginning of May have yielded significant gains. From June 20 to 29, across all larger airports combined, CATSA reported nearly 85 percent of passengers being screened in 15 minutes or less.
We are making progress, but challenges remain, particularly for travellers facing flight cancellations and issues with baggage services. We continue to take action with air industry partners to reduce the delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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