The Government of Canada is collaborating with airports and airlines across the country to reduce passenger wait times.
As the travel industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and the volume of air passengers increases, many airports across the globe are struggling to cope with the influx of customers, resulting in delays at customs, security, baggage handling, airline services and ground transportation services. The Canadian government are therefore working with airports across the nation to help mitigate these issues.
“We are working with airports, air carriers and other airport partners to find solutions to reduce delays in airports in advance of the summer peak season. The goal of this collaboration is to ensure efficient services for inbound and outbound passengers, so Canadians are able to travel smoothly and safely as the sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In response to the airport delays, Transport Canada has created an outbound screening committee to address bottlenecks at pre-board security screening and pre-clearance departure checkpoints. The committee aims to develop new approaches for these pressure points.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has also been working to increase its number of screening officers. Approximately 400 screening officers are currently in training and will be deployed between now and the end of June thanks to Transport Canada’s support in allowing them to progress more quickly. In addition, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has accelerated the use of pre-certified screening officers for non-screening functions, allowing certified screening officers to focus their efforts.
“While more remains to be done, these efforts are paying off through declining wait times for screening. Since the beginning of the month, the number of passengers waiting 30 minutes and more for outbound screening at our largest airports (Toronto Pearson International, Vancouver International, Montreal Trudeau International and Calgary International), has been halved across all four airports.”
The Canada Border Services Agency and Toronto Pearson International Airport have added 25 additional kiosks to speed up passenger processing times. The Canada Border Services Agency is also initiating a Summer Action Plan that will increase available officer capacity and ease the return of Student Border Services Officers.
Furthermore, the Public Health Agency of Canada is working with Canada Border Services Agency to streamline operations. They are consequently removing the requirement for Mandatory Random Testing on the International to Domestic Connections Process.
“The Government of Canada recognises the urgency of the situation and continues to work with all partners to address wait times as a matter of priority. With additional Canadian Air Transport Security Authority screeners and Border Services Officers in place and coming, and ongoing discussions to further reduce the delays, some progress has been made, but we recognise we need to do more—and we will. We will take clear and decisive action to ensure the safety, security and resiliency of Canada’s transportation system, its employees, and its users, while supporting economic recovery.”
The Government of Canada also noted that travellers can help speed up airport processes by being prepared and completing their ArriveCAN information in advance, as travellers who arrive without having completed ArriveCAN contribute significantly to border congestion.
In addition, travellers over the age 16 years old can use new eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport to verify their identity and submit their customs and immigration declaration, which will improve traffic flow and speed up processing.
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