Full Staffing plus ArriveCAN Improvements: Ottawa Claims Progress Made with Airport Congestion

Ottawa is claiming progress at stemming the flood of delays, backlogs, and frustration at Canada’s busiest airports. In the latest of its regular ‘self report cards,’ the federal ministries involved in airport operations are revealing four new items in what it’s calling “continued progress.”

1. More Advance Notice of Delays and Cancellations

To begin with, as federal government representatives continue meeting with airlines, airports and other related stakeholders, it says Ottawa “expects airlines to increase communication with passengers in advance when their flights are delayed or cancelled.”

2. Screening Staffing at 100 Per Cent of High Season Levels

The federal government says that the number of screening officers at YYZ and YVR – two of the worst-affected airports in Canada –  are now over 100 percent of summer target levels.

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It adds that, since APR, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.  And that its efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.

Meanwhile, 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.

3. Adding Customs Processing Capacity at YYZ

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 JUL.

ArriveCAN app, Canadian flag4. Improving ArriveCAN

Ottawa insists improvements to ArriveCAN are making it faster and easier for travellers to use. Already, pax arriving at YYZ, YVR and YUL can use the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival, which federal officials say is saving time.

“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,” the government statement reads.

The feds say these results warrant further rollout of the program. “In the coming months,” the government is planning to provide the option to pax arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.

 

Lynn Elmhirst

With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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