Ottawa – Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, issued this update 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 flight disruptions due to incidents within an airline’s control, including crew shortages if the airline could have prevented the flight disruption with proper planning.
New regulations taking effect on September 8, 2022, will also ensure that passengers are offered the option of a refund for flights that are cancelled, or where there is a lengthy delay due to reasons outside of an air carrier’s control. This includes major weather events or a pandemic, and instances where it is not possible for the air carrier to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable time frame.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is the independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and economic regulator of Canada’s national transportation system with the powers of a superior court to enforce the rules and regulations under which airlines operate.
Additional resources of $11 million were provided through Budget 2022 to assist the CTA in carrying out its mandate to enforce these rules and help them to deal with passenger disputes.
The Government of Canada strongly encourages Canadians to know their rights when they travel by air under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations. The CTA developed an information resource to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel, and advises them of their rights under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
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 to further reduce delays for travellers. Similar meetings continue to be scheduled.
- This week, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, met with the senior leadership of Saskatoon International Airport and Calgary International Airport to discuss the actions they are taking to ensure passengers are travelling smoothly.
- 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
- Since April,1,740 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
- Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.
Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport
- To further facilitate entry and expedite traveller processing, there are now 12 eGates, 4 dedicated NEXUS eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks (PIKs) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- Over 1.4 million travellers successfully used the ArriveCAN app last week.
- Travellers arriving at Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports can now save additional 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 34 percent of arriving passengers at these three airports.
- In the coming weeks, this feature will become available to travellers arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.