Ottawa, air sector discuss industry concerns ahead of winter travel season

Here are the latest updates from federal government about airport delays

OTTAWA — More than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada since April, says the federal government in its latest update about travel wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.

According to 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, the Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to work towards easing airport congestion.

According to a new study by FlightAware from May 26 and July 19, Toronto Pearson International Airport ranked as the world’s worst airport for delayed flights, with 52.5% of its flights delayed, the only location with more than half of flights impacted. Toronto Pearson also ranked fourth-worst in cancelled flights.

Massive delays at Canada’s major airports, particularly Toronto Pearson, in recent weeks have been largely blamed on staff shortages that coincide with unprecedented travel demand following the easing of travel restrictions.

As per this latest update from the federal government, continuing measures to help alleviate these delays include the following:

 

COLLABORATION

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership at airports and airlines across the country. This week, he will meet with the leadership of the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport to discuss the recovery of the sector. The Minister had similar meetings last week with senior officials from the Edmonton, Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports.

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 to address bottlenecks affecting travel.

 

INCREASING STAFFING

Since April, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across the country, 600 more than the federal government’s previous update in the first week of July. The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100% of summer target levels.

CBSA is also making more border services officers available at the most congested airports, and has temporarily re-hired retired officers and hired additional student border services officers.

 

STREAMLINING CUSTOMS

The Greater Toronto airports Authority and the CBSA are adding 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson by the end of this week. CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.

 

IMPROVING ARRIVECAN

Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport and, later this month, at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, can save time by using the Advance CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will also be expanded to other international airports in the coming months.

 

INFORMATION RESOURCE

The Canadian Transportation Agency developed an information resource to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel. This guide provies answers to 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.

 


For more information  go to Transport Canada’s website at www.tc.gc.ca.