The Government of Canada and industry continue to make progress on reducing wait times and delays for air travellers
July 22, 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.
Passenger security screening wait times
- During the week of July 11-17, 2022, 81 percent of passengers were screened by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) within fifteen minutes at Canada’s airports, as passenger volumes continue to increase. The trend continued for the additional four days in the reporting period (July 18 – 21), with 81 percent of passengers being screened within 15 minutes.
- Toronto Pearson International Airport’s wait times increased for the week of July 11-17 with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes but showed slight signs of improvement from July 18 – 21 at 82 percent.
- Vancouver International Airport showed a slight increase for July 11 – 17, with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes with slight signs of improvement from July 18 – 21 at 81 percent.
- Montréal-Trudeau International Airport showed improvement for the week of July 11-17, with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes; however, this declined for the July 18 – 21 period to 68 percent.
- Calgary International Airport showed an increase in wait times with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes for the week of July 11-17, with improvements on this week to date at 81 percent.
- A small number of passengers – less than 2 percent across all airports – waited more than 45 minutes to be security screened for the week of July 11-17, 2022.
Passenger travel volumes
- For the week of July 11-17, the total number of air passenger arrivals (transborder and international) was 619,971, with a daily average of 88,567 passengers. This is 17,526 higher than the previous week and represents about 76.4 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.
- For the week of July 11-17, the total number of air passenger departures was 1,148,194, with a daily average of 164,028 passengers. This is 7,410 higher than the previous week and represents about 82.7 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 11-17, 58 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 date 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 hall at Terminal 1.
The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take significant action to increase resources and streamline processes to reduce wait times and help keep travellers moving, including:
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. On July 21, the Minister met with the leadership of the Edmonton International Airport to discuss the solutions they are implementing to mitigate congestion and wait times for their travellers. The Minister also had similar meetings earlier this week with officials from the Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports in British Columbia.
- 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.
Moving random mandatory testing out of airports
- As of July 19, 2022, mandatory random testing resumed for those who qualify as fully vaccinated travellers at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montréal-Trudeau 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.
- All air travellers required to undergo on-arrival testing will receive an email within 15 minutes of completing their CBSA primary processing. The email contains information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region.
- Resuming mandatory random testing outside of airports allows 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.
Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing
- Since April, 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 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 the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are adding more kiosks and eGates in the CBSA hall at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1. In addition, CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.
- Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport, and later this month at Montréal-Trudeau 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.
- 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.
Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations and lost or delayed baggage
- A new information resource has been developed by the Canadian Transportation Agency 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.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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