OTTAWA, ON, June 20, 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 statement today to provide an update on progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce wait times at Canadian airports.
Minister Alghabra will also be meeting with the CEOs of the six largest airports and airlines, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), NAV CANADA, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) this week to ensure ongoing collaboration.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the impact that significant wait times at some Canadian airports are having on travellers. This is a global phenomenon due to the increase in air traffic across the world. Transport Canada, PHAC, CBSA, CATSA, NAV CANADA, airports and airlines continue to meet regularly to find solutions to address bottlenecks affecting travel, including at pre-board security screening and pre-clearance departure checkpoints, in customs halls, and for air traffic control, airport and airline operations.
“This week marks the beginning of the busiest travel season of the year, and we will begin seeing higher numbers of travellers through our airports. Our Government is working to maintain the progress we have made and improve in the weeks to come.
“Our efforts continue to have a positive impact. Wait times at security lines continue to go down at Toronto Pearson International Airport, with about 91 percent of passengers now being screened within 15 minutes. Calgary International Airport also saw a slight overall improvement, with about 86 percent of passengers now screened within 15 minutes. About 84 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes at Vancouver International Airport, which is fewer than the previous week, but still a significant improvement since mid-May. About 85 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes at Montreal Trudeau International Airport, similar to the previous week.
“Actions currently underway by the Government of Canada and the air industry include:
- Since April, nearly 1,000 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. With this, the number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport is now over 100 percent of the targeted requirements for this summer based on projected traffic.
- CBSA is maximizing officer availability and additional Student Border Services Officers are now at work.
- CBSA and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority are making available additional kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.
- CBSA and PHAC streamlined the process to identify travellers who are required to undergo testing at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- As of June 11, mandatory randomized COVID-19 testing has been temporarily suspended at all airports until June 30. As of July 1, all test swabbing, including for unvaccinated travellers, will be performed off-site.
- PHAC is adding additional staff on select days to verify that travellers have completed their ArriveCAN submissions on arrival and further inform air travellers about the importance of the mandatory requirements. ArriveCAN is mandatory for all travellers to Canada and is available for free as an app or through the website.
“We recognize that there is still work to be done; and we will continue to work with partners to reduce the delays in the travel system and to report back to Canadians.”
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SOURCE Transport Canada