OTTAWA, ON, July 14, 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 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.
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:
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. Earlier today, the Government of Canada announced that MRT would resume, offsite, as of July 19, 2022, 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.
- Moving testing outside of airports will support testing for travellers arriving by air while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation.
- 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.
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff
Since April, close to 1,200 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. Efforts to increase screening staff levels at all airports continue.
New task force on Services to Canadians
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced on June 25, 2022, the creation of a new task force to improve the processing of passports and immigration applications, as well as to monitor the situation at Canadian airports.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):
- CBSA is maximizing officer availability, has re-hired retired officers on a casual basis, and additional Student Border Services Officers are now at work.
- The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is working with CBSA to make available additional kiosks and eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.
New resource for passengers
- 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.
- The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN with additional features for travellers to use.
- Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montréal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.
- Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance rather than on arrival – shaving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction. With the thousands of travellers who go through Toronto Pearson International Airport and use the Advance CBSA Declaration option in ArriveCAN, this has the potential of saving hours of processing time each day.
- Frequent travellers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “saved traveller” feature in ArriveCAN. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.
- As of June 28, travellers receive a digital handout explaining their entry and post-border requirements based on their ArriveCAN submission so they have easy and quick access to the latest health and travel measures information.
- 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.
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.
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SOURCE Transport Canada