Canada and industry continue efforts to reduce air traveller wait times

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.

Increasing staffing for security screening and collaborating with industry partners

  • 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.

Streamlining traveller processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • 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.

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) mobile app expands 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.

CBSA advance declaration

  • 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.

Continued action to advance the rights of travellers

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 September 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.

Latest data

Associated Link

Flight completions

  • For the week of September 12-18, 2022, 98.5 percent of flights planned for Canada’s top four airports were completed (i.e., not cancelled), an improvement from 95 percent for the first week of July.
  • This percentage is very close to the week of September 16-22, 2019, when 99 percent of flights for the top four airports were completed.

On-time performance

  • From September 12-18, 2022, over 91 percent of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure.
  • This is a significant improvement from under 75 percent for the first week of July and is approaching the pre-pandemic levels in September 2019 where 96 percent of flights were on time, or within an hour of scheduled departure.

Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • The number of arriving international flights being held on the tarmac at Toronto-Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since May.
    • For the week of September 12-18, 2022, 1.2 percent, or 26 international flight arrivals, were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 during the first week of May.

Passenger security screening wait times

  • From September 12-18, 2022, 90 percent of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by CATSA, an improvement from 79 percent during the first week of July 2022.
    • Toronto-Pearson International Airport: 92 percent (98 percent in 2019)
    • Vancouver International Airport: 88 percent (86 percent in 2019)
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 91 percent (97 percent in 2019)
    • Calgary International Airport: 86 percent (88 percent in 2019)

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