Omar Alghabra Minister of Health Jean Yves Duclos

Addressing wait times and congestion at Canadian airports

eAwaz Canada News

Ottawa – Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, and Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, issued this update on the continued progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and congestion at Canadian 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 and continued action that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving.

  • This week, the Minister met with the leadership of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and WestJet to discuss the recovery of the air sector and the solutions they are implementing to reduce wait times for their travellers.
  • The Minister had similar meetings last week with senior officials from the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport and Porter Airlines.
  • The Minister has met with the leadership of more than 10 airports across the country in the last few weeks, including Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, and similar meetings are to follow in the coming days.

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 1,600 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 the CBSA added 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport over the last week of July. The CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies and ensure a smooth and efficient flow of passengers at airports.

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 answers 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

The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.

Travellers arriving at the following 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:

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport

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.

Early usage data from Toronto Pearson and Vancouver airports indicates that using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third. With the thousands of travellers arriving in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal airports each day, the use of the optional Advance CBSA Declaration has the potential to save hours in wait time.