Federal Government Offers Airport Update

The federal government is strongly encouraging Canadians to know their rights when they travel by air under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations – these rules cover compensation requirements for all flight incidents that are considered within an air carrier’s control, including flights delayed or cancelled as a result of crew shortages. Through each part of their travel journey, passengers should document any incidents that occur as they may be eligible for compensation.

And it noted that no traveller should have to sleep on the floor of an airport or feel unsafe as a result of a flight that is delayed or cancelled. This is unacceptable.

Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault provided an update issued this on the continued action and progress being made by the government and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and delays across Canadian airports.

As of Sept. 8, 2022, amendments to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations will come into force to ensure passengers are compensated for flight delays, cancellations, and other incidents that may be out of an air carrier’s control. This will ensure Canadian travellers are protected in nearly every circumstance.

Travellers have rights, and these must be respected by airlines and airports through each step of the travelling experience.

The latest data for flight completions shows that:

  • For the week of Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, 97% of flights planned for Canada’s top four airports were not cancelled, compared to 88% over the same period in July.

On-time performance

  • From Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, over 85% of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure. This is an improvement from under 75% for the first week of July.

Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport:

  • The number of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since early May.
  • Over the last week of July, only 1%, or 19 aircraft, were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23- 29, 2022.

Passenger security screening wait times

  • From Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, 88% of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), an improvement from 84% the previous week (July 25-31).
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport: 88% for Aug. 1 to Aug. 7.
  • Vancouver International Airport: 84% for Aug. 1 to Aug. 7.
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 87% for Aug. 1 to Aug. 7.
  • Calgary International Airport: 89% for Aug. 1 to Aug. 7.

The federal government and air industry partners continue to take action to increase resources and streamline processes across the air system to ease airport congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Collaborating with air industry partners

  • In recent weeks, Minister Alghabra has met with senior leadership of numerous airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration and continued action that will help reduce delays and ensure travellers can efficiently get to their destination. Similar meetings will continue to be scheduled in the following weeks.
  • 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 issues affecting travel.

Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing

  • Since April, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
  • Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue, including at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • To further facilitate entry and expedite traveller processing, there are now 12 eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks (PIKs) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Improving ArriveCAN

  • ArriveCAN is mandatory for all travellers entering Canada, with limited exceptions. If it is not completed, travellers can expect added delays and may be subject to fines under the Quarantine Act.
  • The federal government continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.
  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports can save 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 months, the optional feature will also become available to travellers arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.
  • Early usage data from Toronto Pearson and Vancouver airports indicates that using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third. With the thousands of travellers arriving in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal airports each day, the use of the optional Advance CBSA Declaration has the potential to save hours in wait time.