OTTAWA — The latest rundown from the federal government outlining recent steps taken to alleviate airport congestion includes one new update: an online tool from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to help impacted passengers.
The CTA’s information resource, found here, contains links and information designed to help passengers who are experiencing flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage issues during their trip.
Canada’s biggest airports, Toronto Pearson in particular, have been plagued by delays and slowdowns in recent months as travel restarts, and the problem persists with rising high season passenger levels, despite measures from the federal government and airlines. Over the July long weekend Canada took top spot for delays for airlines and airports, which prompted an update from WestJet. Meanwhile Air Canada has reduced its schedule by more than 150 flights every day this month and next.
Earlier this week Transport Minister Omar Alghabra met with Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau, following similar meetings with WestJet and the GTAA. Transport Canada is also regularly meeting with Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), airports, and airlines alongside the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA.
This latest update from the government notes that in Canada, June 2022 air departure traffic was 58 times higher than it was in spring 2020. “In comparison, global travel volumes are up more than eight times since the low point during the pandemic, and airports across the world are feeling the impact. From too many flights, to not enough staff, there is no single reason for these delays – but the Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to make significant efforts to add resources and streamline processes to ease congestion and help keep travellers moving,” reads the statement.
The government is reminding passengers that travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the Advance Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. As of June 28, this option was available on the ArriveCAN mobile app in addition to the web version. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montréal-Trudeau International Airport this summer. Declaring at the kiosk with ArriveCAN in advance is 30% faster than the paper route, according to the government’s early usage data.
“We are making progress, but challenges remain. A significant number of travellers continue to face travel delays, flight cancellations and issues with airport check-in and baggage services. We continue to take action with air industry partners to reduce the delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress,” says the statement.