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.
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.
4. 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.