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The Government of Canada is working with air industry partners to make progress in reducing wait times at Canadian airports

·7 min read

OTTAWA, ON, July 15, 2022 /CNW/ - 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 wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.

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 alone, Minister Alghabra met with the leadership of London, Windsor, and Winnipeg airports.

Latest data

  • During the week of July 7-13, Canada's airports continued to see about 80 percent of passengers screened by CATSA within 15 minutes, despite higher passenger numbers.

  • Calgary International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport maintained gains made since the beginning of May, with 85 percent and close to 80 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes, respectively.

  • At Vancouver International Airport and Montreal Trudeau International Airport, about 75 percent and 68 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes, respectively.

  • Only a small number of passengers – less than 2 percent across all airports – are waiting more than 45 minutes to be screened.

Latest highlights

  • The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100 percent of summer target levels, and efforts to increase screening staff levels at all airports continue.

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency has developed a new information resource to help passengers who are experiencing flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage issues during their travel.

  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can now save time by using the CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montreal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.

  • On July 19, 2022, mandatory random testing will resume, offsite, for fully-vaccinated travellers arriving by air to the four largest airports across the country – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.There will be no testing conducted inside airports. The transition of MRT outside of airports will support testing for travellers arriving by air in order to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation, without disrupting the flow of passengers through airports.

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to add significant resources and streamline processes to ease congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Increased staffing

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff

CATSA has now hired more screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport than the targeted requirements for this summer based on projected traffic. CATSA continues its efforts to increase screening staff levels at all airports.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):

  • CBSA is making more officers available, has temporarily re-hired retired officers, and has hired additional Student Border Services Officers.

  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is working with CBSA to add more kiosks and eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.

New services

New task force on Services to Canadians

  • On June 25, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the creation of a new task force focused on improving passport and immigration application processing, and monitoring the situation at Canadian airports.

New resource for passengers

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency's new information resource helps passengers dealing with flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage.

Streamlined services

ArriveCAN improvements

  • The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN with additional features for travellers to use.

ArriveCAN compliance

  • On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to enable the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated cases of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN non-compliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances shortly after take-off, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) continuing enforcement efforts on non-compliant travellers, particularly those who refuse to come into compliance.

Offsite Mandatory Random Testing

On June 11, the Government of Canada paused Mandatory Random Testing (MRT) for those entering Canada by air in order to transition testing for air travelers outside of the airports and streamline passenger flow. As of July 19, 2022, MRT will resume, offsite, for fully-vaccinated travellers arriving by air to the four largest airports across the country – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

  • All testing for air travellers, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed outside of airports, either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test. Travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

  • Air travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration. The email will contain information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region.

Work with air industry partners

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership of airports and air carriers of all sizes across the country

  • On Monday, July 11, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of London International Airport to discuss how they are working to combat congestion and develop solutions for their travellers.

  • On Tuesday, July 12, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Windsor International Airport on what their team is doing to reduce delays and bottlenecks for travellers in their region.

  • Later that day, Minister Alghabra also visited the NAV CANADA air traffic control tower at Windsor International Airport. Last summer, NAV CANADA announced that the air traffic control tower at Windsor International Airport would be staying open. The Minister saw first-hand the importance of the tower for the airport and the community it serves, and thanked workers for their tireless efforts in maintaining safety at the airport.

  • On Wednesday, July 13 Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Winnipeg International Airport to discuss the solutions they are implementing to mitigate congestion and wait times for their travellers.

  • On Thursday, July 14, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority and received an update on wait times across Canadian airports, and their ongoing efforts to bolster staffing levels at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and in other airports across the country.

We are making progress, but challenges remain. We continue to work with air industry partners to reduce congestion and delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2022/15/c1740.html