The Government of Canada continue to take action to address congestion at airports

posted on 2nd September 2022 by Eddie Saunders
The Government of Canada continue to take action to address congestion at airports

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 the continued action and progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and delays across Canadian airports.

Flight completions

  • For the week of August 22-28, 2022, 97.5 percent of flights planned for Canada’s top four airports were completed (i.e., not cancelled), an improvement from 95 percent for the first week of July.

On-time performance

  • From August 22-28, 2022, over 86 percent of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure.
  • This is a significant improvement from under 75 percent for the first week of July and is approaching the pre-pandemic levels in August 2019 where 95 percent of flights were on time, or within an hour of scheduled departure.

Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • The number of arriving international flights being held on the tarmac at Toronto-Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since May.
    • For the week of August 22-28, 2022, 5 percent, or 109 international flight arrivals, were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 during the first week of May.

Passenger security screening wait times

  • From August 22-28, 2022, 87 percent of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by CATSA, an improvement from 79 percent during the first week of July 2022.
    • Toronto-Pearson International Airport: 87 percent (98 percent in 2019)
    • Vancouver International Airport: 82 percent (approaching pre-pandemic levels of 88 percent in 2019)
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 93 percent (above pre-pandemic levels of 88 percent in 2019)
    • Calgary International Airport: 87 percent (same as pre-pandemic levels in 2019)

Increasing staffing for security screening

  • Since April,1,837 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
  • Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • To further facilitate entry and expedite traveller processing, there are now 12 eGates, 4 dedicated NEXUS eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks (PIKs) at Toronto-Pearson International Airport.
  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have opened a new dedicated International Student Processing area in Terminal 1. This will help further streamline international student study permit issuance and will minimize impacts on the general traveller flow.

Collaborating with industry partners

  • This week, Minister Alghabra met with leadership and workers at Windsor International Airport to discuss the actions they are taking to ensure passengers are travelling smoothly
  • In recent weeks, Minister Alghabra has also met with senior leadership of numerous airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration and continued action to further reduce delays for travellers.
  • 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 and address congestion.

ArriveCAN

  • Travellers arriving at Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports can now save additional time by using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.
    • In the coming weeks, this optional feature will become available to travellers arriving at the CalgaryEdmontonWinnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.

Continued action to advance the rights of travellers

In Canada, airlines must follow the requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which outline compensation requirements for passengers for flight disruptions due to incidents within an airline’s control.

Starting next week on September 8, 2022new regulations will come into effect that will ensure that passengers are offered the option of a refund for flights that are cancelled, or where there is a lengthy delay, due to reasons outside of an air carrier’s control (such as major weather events, or a pandemic) where it is not possible for the air carrier to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable time frame.

These new rules will also be enforced by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), which is Canada’s independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator of the national transportation system, with the powers of a superior court. Additional resources of $11 million were provided through Budget 2022 to assist the CTA in fulfilling their mandate as passenger travel volumes continue to rise.