The Government of Canada and industry continue efforts to reduce wait times and congestion at Canadian airports

Statement

July 29, 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 traveller wait times at Canadian airports.

Latest data

Passenger security screening wait times

  • From July 25-28, 86 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). It improved from 81 percent the previous week of July 18-24.
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport: 85 percent for July 25-28.
    • Vancouver International Airport: 88 percent for July 25-28.
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 82 percent for July 25-28.
    • Calgary International Airport: 86 percent for July 25-28. 

Passenger travel volumes

Arrivals

  • For the week of July 18-24:
    • Total number of air passenger arrivals (transborder and international): close to 631,000.
    • Daily average of a bit more than 90,000 passengers.
      • This is close to 11,000 higher than the previous week and represents more than 77 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.

Departures

  • For the week of July 18-24:
    • Total number of air passenger departures: close to 1,144,000
    • Daily average of more than 163,000 passengers.
      • This is close to 4,300 more passengers than the previous week and represents almost 83 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.   

Metering (holding) of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • The number of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport has decreased significantly since early May.
    • For the week of July 18-24, 30 aircraft were held on the tarmac as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23- 29, 2022.
    • This decrease shows the significant progress that has been made to address bottlenecks and to streamline passenger flows at Canada’s largest airport, by adding more Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and more kiosks and eGates in the CBSA customs hall.

Flight cancellations and delays

  • The performance at Canada’s four largest airports in relation to flight cancellations and delays has improved over recent weeks, apart from Montréal-Trudeau International Airport where the situation remains stable. However, the proportions of delays and cancellations are still higher, compared to 2019.

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 the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport and Porter Airlines to discuss the recovery of the sector. The Minister also had similar meetings last week with senior officials from the Edmonton, Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports.
  • Transport Canada continues to meet regularly with airports and airlines alongside 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, more than 1,600 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 percent 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 International Airport

  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority and CBSA are adding 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport by the end of this week. CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.  

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

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency developed an 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.
  • We also expect airlines to increase communication with passengers in advance when their flights are delayed or cancelled.

Improving ArriveCAN

  • Travellers arriving at the following airports can save time by choosing to use the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature, in ArriveCAN, to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival:
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport
    • Vancouver International Airport
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport – Newly added since July 28
    • This feature will also be expanded to other international airports in the coming months.
  • Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance – shaving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction. With the thousands of travellers arriving in Canada through the airports each day, the use of the Advance CBSA Declaration option in ArriveCAN has the potential of saving hours of processing time.

Contacts

Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
laurel.lennox@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
media@tc.gc.ca
613-993-0055

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