The Government of Canada and industry partners continue to make progress on reducing traveller wait times at Canada’s airports
August 18, 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 the continued action and progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and delays across Canadian airports.
Government and industry actions
The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take action to ease airport congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:
Continued action to advance the rights of travellers
In Canada, airlines must follow the requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which outline compensation requirements for passengers for flights delayed or cancelled due to incidents within an airline’s control, including crew shortages. New regulations taking effect on September 8, 2022, will also ensure passengers are compensated for flight incidents occurring outside of an airline’s control, like major weather events or a pandemic. The Government of Canada strongly encourages Canadians to know their rights when they travel by air under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is the independent, quasi-judicial regulator of Canada’s national transportation system with the powers of a court to enforce the rules and regulations that airlines operate under.
To make sure the CTA has the resources it needs to enforce the rules, the Government of Canada has provided an additional $11 million to the Agency through Budget 2022. This additional funding will help them to deal with passenger disputes in a more timely manner.
Collaborating with partners to find solutions
- In recent weeks, Minister Alghabra has met with senior leadership of numerous airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration and continued action that will help reduce delays for travellers. Similar meetings will continue to be scheduled in the following weeks.
- 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 and address congestion issues affecting travel.
Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing
- Since April, more than 1,700 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
- Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue, including at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.
Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport
- To further facilitate entry and expedite traveller processing, there are now 12 eGates, four dedicated NEXUS eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks (PIKs) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- There has been a significant decrease in the number of aircraft holds at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.
- Over 1.4 million travellers successfully used the ArriveCAN application last week.
- Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports can save time by using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.
- Early usage data indicates that using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third. In the week ending August 14, the advance CBSA declaration was submitted by 33.9 percent of arriving passengers at these three airports.
- In the coming months, the optional feature will also become available to travellers arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.
- For the week of August 8-14, 2022, 98 percent of flights planned for Canada’s top four airports were completed (i.e., not cancelled), an improvement from 95 percent the first week of July.
- This is nearly the same as in 2019, where for the week of August 12-18, 99 percent of flights planned for the top four airports were completed.
- From August 8-14, 2022, over 86 percent of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure.
- This is a significant improvement from under 75 percent for the first week of July and is nearly the same as pre-pandemic levels in August 2019 where 92% of flights were on time, or within an hour of scheduled departure.
Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport
- The number of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since May.
- For the week of August 8- 14, 2022, only 2%, or 42 aircraft were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23-29, 2022.
Passenger security screening wait times
- From August 8-14, 2022, 87 percent of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), an improvement from 79 percent during the first week of July.
- Toronto Pearson International Airport: 87 percent for August 8-14, 2022 (95% in 2019)
- At Vancouver International Airport, wait times were 85 percent for August 8-14, 2022, the same as pre-pandemic data, which was also 85%
- Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 90 percent for August 8-14, 2022 (97% in 2019)
- At Calgary International Airport, wait times were 89 percent for August 8-14, 2022, which is higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019, where it was 87%.
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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