CANADA NEWS RELEASE: The Government of Canada and industry partners continue to take action and make progress on reducing wait times at Canada’s largest airports

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August 5, 2022


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August 5, 2022              Ottawa             Transport Canada

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.

Latest data

Passenger security screening wait times

  • From August 1-3, 86 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), an improvement from 84 percent the previous week (July 25-31).
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport: 86 percent for August 1-3.
    • Vancouver International Airport: 84 percent for August 1-3.
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 89 percent for August 1-3.
    • Calgary International Airport: 87 percent for August 1-3. 

Passenger travel volumes

Arrivals at all Canadian airports

  • For the week of July 25-31:
    • Daily average of just over 90,000 passengers arriving transborder or overseas.
      • This is close to 4,000 more passengers than the previous week.

Departures from all Canadian airports

  • For the week of July 25-31:
    • Daily average of more than 165,000 passengers.
      • This is approximately 13,500 more passengers than the previous week.

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.
    • For the week of July 25-31, 19 aircraft were held on the tarmac as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23- 29, 2022.

Government and industry actions

The Government of Canada 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

  • Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership at airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration and continued action that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving.
    • This week, the Minister met with United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss actions surrounding airport delays, including the path forward to reduce wait times at preclearance locations across Canada for US departures and the necessity to reopen NEXUS and FAST enrollment centers and urgently process the backlog of applications.
    • Minister Alghabra also met this week with the leadership of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Air Canada and WestJet to discuss the recovery of the air sector and the solutions they are implementing to reduce wait times for their travellers, and actions taken to continue to reduce the numbers of delayed or cancelled flights, and reduce the number of mishandled baggage.
    • The Minister has met with the leadership of more than 10 airports across the country in the last few weeks, including Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. These important meetings will continue going forward.
  • 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.
  • The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100 percent of summer target levels. Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue, including at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.
  • CBSA is making more border services officers available at the most congested airports, has temporarily re-hired retired officers and has hired additional student border services officers.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the CBSA added 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport over the last week of July.
  • The CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies and ensure a smoother and more efficient flow of passengers at airports.

Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations and lost or delayed baggage

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency developed an information resource to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel.
  • This guide answers many frequently asked travel questions and advises passengers of their rights under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations should their flights be delayed or cancelled, or in the event their baggage is lost, damaged or delayed.
  • We also expect airlines to increase communication with passengers in advance when their flights are delayed or cancelled.

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 Government of Canada 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.


Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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