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,
The federal government provided an update on the continued action and progress that it and its industry partners are making to reduce traveller wait times and delays across Canadian airports.
The update was provided by Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra; Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos; Public Safety Minister, Marco Mendicino; and Tourism Minister and Associate Finance Minister, Randy Boissonnault.
The ministers reported that:
- Since April, CATSA hired 1,918 screening officers across Canada.
- Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.
- The Minister of Transport and Transport Canada continue 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.
In terms of streamlining traveller processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport, they reported that:
- The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) opened a dedicated International Student Processing area in Terminal 1, which has further streamlined international student study permit issuance, minimize impacts on the general traveller flow, and reduce border wait times.
They also reported that Mobile Passport Control (MPC) mobile app expanded to include Canadian preclearance locations:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last month that the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) mobile app was expanded to include Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport Preclearance locations.
- The MPC mobile app, available to U.S citizens and Canadians visiting the U.S that possess a business or tourism visa, allows travellers to submit and store their passport and travel information on their mobile device so it will be readily available for future international travel – resulting in less congestion and more efficient processing.
In terms of CBSA advance declaration, they noted that 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 their arrival at customs.
- In the coming months, this optional feature will become available to travellers arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.
As for the advancement of travellers rights, the ministers said there will be continued action.
In Canada, airlines must follow the requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which outline, among other obligations, compensation requirements for passengers for flight disruptions due to incidents within an airline’s control.
On Sept. 8, 2022, new regulations came into effect to ensure 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 airline to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable time frame.
These new rules are 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.