Category Archives: Canada

The Government of Canada and industry continue to make progress on reducing wait times and delays for air travellers

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 progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times at Canadian airports.

Latest data
Passenger security screening wait times
  • During the week of July 11-17, 2022, 81 percent of passengers were screened by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) within fifteen minutes at Canada’s airports, as passenger volumes continue to increase. The trend continued for the additional four days in the reporting period (July 18 – 21), with 81 percent of passengers being screened within 15 minutes.
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport’s wait times increased for the week of July 11-17with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes but showed slight signs of improvement from July 18-21 at 82 percent.
    • Vancouver International Airport showed a slight increase for July 11-17, with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes with slight signs of improvement from July 18-21at 81 percent.
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport showed improvement for the week of July 11-17, with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes; however, this declined for the July 18-21 period to 68 percent.
    • Calgary International Airport showed an increase in wait times with 78 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes for the week of July 11-17, with improvements on this week to date at 81 percent.
  • A small number of passengers – less than 2 percent across all airports – waited more than 45 minutes to be security screened for the week of July 11-17, 2022.
Passenger travel volumes

Arrivals

  • For the week of July 11-17, the total number of air passenger arrivals (transborder and international) was 619,971, with a daily average of 88,567 passengers. This is 17,526 higher than the previous week and represents about 76.4 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.

Departures

  • For the week of July 11-17, the total number of air passenger departures was 1,148,194, with a daily average of 164,028 passengers. This is 7,410 higher than the previous week and represents about 82.7 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.
Metering (holding) of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • The number of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport has decreased significantly since early May. For the week of July 11-17, 58 aircraft were held on the tarmac as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23- 29, 2022. This decrease shows the significant progress that has been made to date to address bottlenecks and to streamline passenger flows at Canada’s largest airport, by adding more Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and more kiosks and eGates in the CBSA hall at Terminal 1.

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take significant action to increase resources and streamline processes to reduce wait times 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 that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving. On July 21, the Minister met with the leadership of the EdmontonInternational Airport to discuss the solutions they are implementing to mitigate congestion and wait times for their travellers. The Minister also had similar meetings earlier this week with officials from the Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports in British Columbia.
  • Transport Canada continues to meet regularly with airports and airlines alongside CATSA, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA to find solutions to address bottlenecks affecting travel.
Moving random mandatory testing out of airports
  • As of July 19, 2022, mandatory random testing resumed for those who qualify as fully vaccinated travellers at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montréal-Trudeau airports. All testing for air travellers arriving in Canada, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, is now being completed outside of airports. Mandatory random testing is not taking place at airports.
  • All air travellers required to undergo on-arrival testing will receive an email within 15 minutes of completing their CBSA primary processing. The email contains information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region.
  • Resuming mandatory random testing outside of airports allows the Government of Canada to maintain its ability to quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation, while helping alleviate congestion issues in airports.
Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing
  • Since April, more than 1,500 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and VancouverInternational Airport are now over 100 percent of summer target levels. Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.
  • 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 Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are adding more kiosks and eGates in the CBSA hall at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1. In addition, CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.
Improving ArriveCAN
  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport, and later this month at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, can save time by using the Advance CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.
  • Frequent travellers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “saved traveller” feature in ArriveCAN. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.
Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations and lost or delayed baggage
  • A new information resource has been developed by the Canadian Transportation Agency to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel. This guide provides answers to 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.

The Government of Canada is working with air industry partners to make progress in reducing wait times at Canadian airports

From Transport Canada:

Statement

July 15, 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 progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership at airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving. This week alone, Minister Alghabra met with the leadership of London, Windsor, and Winnipeg airports.

Latest data

  • During the week of July 7-13, Canada’s airports continued to see about 80 percent of passengers screened by CATSA within 15 minutes, despite higher passenger numbers.
  • Calgary International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport maintained gains made since the beginning of May, with 85 percent and close to 80 percent of passengers screened within 15 minutes, respectively.
  • At Vancouver International Airport and Montreal Trudeau International Airport, about 75 percent and 68 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes, respectively.
  • Only a small number of passengers – less than 2 percent across all airports – are waiting more than 45 minutes to be screened.

Latest highlights

  • The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100 percent of summer target levels, and efforts to increase screening staff levels at all airports continue.
  • The Canadian Transportation Agency has developed a new information resource to help passengers who are experiencing flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage issues during their travel.
  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can now save time by using the CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montreal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.
  • On July 19, 2022, mandatory random testing will resume, offsite, for fully-vaccinated travellers arriving by air to the four largest airports across the country – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.There will be no testing conducted inside airports. The transition of MRT outside of airports will support testing for travellers arriving by air in order to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation, without disrupting the flow of passengers through airports.

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to add significant resources and streamline processes to ease congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Increased staffing

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff

CATSA has now hired more screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport than the targeted requirements for this summer based on projected traffic. CATSA continues its efforts to increase screening staff levels at all airports.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):

  • CBSA is making more officers available, has temporarily re-hired retired officers, and has hired additional Student Border Services Officers.
  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is working with CBSA to add more kiosks and eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.

New services

New task force on Services to Canadians

  • On June 25, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the creation of a new task force focused on improving passport and immigration application processing, and monitoring the situation at Canadian airports.

New resource for passengers

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency’s new information resource helps passengers dealing with flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage.

Streamlined services

ArriveCAN improvements

  • The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN with additional features for travellers to use.
    •  Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future, including Montréal-Trudeau International Airport this summer.
      • Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance rather than on arrival – shaving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction. With the thousands of travellers who go through Toronto Pearson International Airport and use the Advance CBSA Declaration option in ArriveCAN, this has the potential of saving hours of processing time each day.
    • Frequent travellers are also encouraged to take advantage of the “saved traveller” feature in ArriveCAN. It allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.
    • As of June 28, travellers receive a digital handout explaining their entry and post-border requirements based on their ArriveCAN submission so they have easy and quick access to the latest health and travel measures information.
  • On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to enable the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated cases of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN non-compliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances shortly after take-off, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) continuing enforcement efforts on non-compliant travellers, particularly those who refuse to come into compliance.

ArriveCAN compliance

  • On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to enable the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated cases of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN non-compliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances shortly after take-off, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) continuing enforcement efforts on non-compliant travellers, particularly those who refuse to come into compliance.

Offsite Mandatory Random Testing

On June 11, the Government of Canada paused Mandatory Random Testing (MRT) for those entering Canada by air in order to transition testing for air travelers outside of the airports and streamline passenger flow. As of July 19, 2022, MRT will resume, offsite, for fully-vaccinated travellers arriving by air to the four largest airports across the country – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

  • All testing for air travellers, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed outside of airports, either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test. Travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
  • Air travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration. The email will contain information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region.

Work with air industry partners

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership of airports and air carriers of all sizes across the country

  • On Monday, July 11, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of London International Airport to discuss how they are working to combat congestion and develop solutions for their travellers.
  • On Tuesday, July 12, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Windsor International Airport on what their team is doing to reduce delays and bottlenecks for travellers in their region.
  • Later that day, Minister Alghabra also visited the NAV CANADA air traffic control tower at Windsor International Airport. Last summer, NAV CANADA announced that the air traffic control tower at Windsor International Airport would be staying open. The Minister saw first-hand the importance of the tower for the airport and the community it serves, and thanked workers for their tireless efforts in maintaining safety at the airport.
  • On Wednesday, July 13 Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Winnipeg International Airport to discuss the solutions they are implementing to mitigate congestion and wait times for their travellers.
  • On Thursday, July 14, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority and received an update on wait times across Canadian airports, and their ongoing efforts to bolster staffing levels at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and in other airports across the country.

We are making progress, but challenges remain. We continue to work with air industry partners to reduce congestion and delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress.

The Government of Canada and air industry taking more action to reduce congestion at Canada’s busiest airports

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 progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.

Working together

On Monday, July 4, Minister Alghabra met with the CEO of Air Canada to discuss current and planned actions being taken by the airline to quickly bring on more employees and to bolster core operations to better respond to the challenges of rapidly increasing demands. This meeting followed similar meetings that Minister Alghabra had with the CEOs of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and WestJet last week.

Transport Canada is also regularly meeting with Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), airports, and airlines alongside the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA to find solutions to address bottlenecks affecting travel.

Global phenomenon and actions taken

In Canada, June 2022 air departure traffic was 58 times higher than it was in spring 2020. In comparison, global travel volumes are up more than eight times since the low point during the pandemic, and airports across the world are feeling the impact. From too many flights, to not enough staff, there is no single reason for these delays – but the Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to make significant efforts to add resources and streamline processes to ease congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

  • Since April, close to 1,200 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. With this, the number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport is now over 100 percent of the targeted requirements for this summer based on projected traffic.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced on June 25, 2022, the creation of a new task force to improve the processing of passports and immigration applications, as well as to monitor the situation at Canadian airports.
  • CBSA is maximizing officer availability and additional Student Border Services Officers are now at work.
  • The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is working with CBSA to make available additional kiosks and eGates at Toronto Pearson International Airport customs hall areas.
  • Mandatory random COVID-19 testing will remain temporarily suspended at all airports, for travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated, until mid-July, when the random testing will return, and tests will be completed outside of the airports.
  • CBSA and PHAC streamlined the process to identify travellers who are required to undergo testing at Toronto Pearson.
  • The Canadian Transportation Agency has developed a new information resource to help passengers who are experiencing flight cancellations, delays or lost luggage issues during their travel.
  • On June 27, Transport Canada updated its Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 to enable the department to impose additional obligations on airlines that have repeated cases of the same flight occurring with high levels of ArriveCAN non-compliance. These additional obligations, including the need to report potential non-compliances shortly after take-off, will support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) continuing enforcement efforts on non-compliant travellers, particularly those who refuse to come into compliance.
  • The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.
  • We are making progress, but challenges remain. A significant number of travellers continue to face travel delays, flight cancellations and issues with airport check-in and baggage services. We continue to take action with air industry partners to reduce the delays in the travel system and update Canadians on our progress.

Transport Canada suspending all direct commercial and private passenger flights from Morocco until September 29, 2021

Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world, and is prioritizing the health and safety of Canadians by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening its borders.

Like every other element of Canada’s COVID-19 response, border measures are based on available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally. An increase in COVID-19 positive test results has been observed in travelers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the past month.

Based on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada is issuing a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco from August 29, 2021, at 00:01 EDT until September 29, 2021, at 00:00 EDT. All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from Morocco are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included.

To ensure aviation safety and to reduce operational interruptions, flights from Morocco that are already in transit at the time of the publication of the NOTAM will be allowed to proceed to Canada. As an interim measure, until the NOTAM comes into effect, all travellers arriving on those flights will be required to take a test on arrival to Canada.

Transport Canada is also amending the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 molecular tests to include travelers to Canada from Morocco via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart Morocco to Canada, via an indirect route, will be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than Morocco – before continuing their journey to Canada. The third-country testing requirement will also come into effect on August 29, 2021, at 00:01 EDT.

Canada continues to closely monitor the situation, and will be working closely with the Government of Morocco and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe resumption of direct flights as soon as conditions permit.

Restricting flights from countries of concern is part of Canada’s general approach to the responsible and effective management of Canada’s border re-opening plan.

Canadians are advised to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to, and the spread of, COVID-19 and its variants. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.

Canada moving forward with a proof of vaccination for international travel

Government of Canada issued this statement:

While Canadians should continue to avoid non-essential travel worldwide, the Government of Canada recognizes that proof of vaccination credentials will support the re-opening of societies and economies.

Canadians are looking for a more reliable and secure way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination history to foreign and Canadian border officials. To that end, the Government of Canada is collaborating with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination that will facilitate cross-border travel, while reducing the risk of spread and importation of COVID-19. We are also continuing to engage with Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that a proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples.

The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to develop a secure pan-Canadian approach. This plan is based on advice from our public health officials with priority placed on the safety and security of all Canadians.

For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home.

Travellers will be able to submit their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN (mobile app or Canada.ca/ArriveCAN) when coming back to Canada. While the focus is on a digital proof of vaccination, we will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them.

The Government of Canada encourages everyone who is able to do so, regardless of travel plans, to get vaccinated. Vaccination with a complete series of approved COVID-19 vaccines provides individuals with substantial protection against the virus.

Destination countries determine if or what type of proof of vaccination is required and the related benefits that may be provided such as reduced or no testing or quarantine requirements. Canadians who do not have a proof of vaccination can travel outside the country, but they may have to quarantine or meet other requirements at their destination country, and they will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing upon return to Canada.

Canadians should always check the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories, as well as the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, before booking a trip.

Quick facts

  • Canada continues to participate in the international dialogue on proof of vaccination for international travel, including with the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, and through the G7.
  • Currently, there is no international consensus on an acceptable proof of vaccination, but we are working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada.
  • Safeguards are being built into the policies, procedures and technical systems to protect the privacy of Canadians. Provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations are and will remain the custodians of Canadians’ health data.
  • The Government of Canada is working with partners to ensure the recognition of Canada’s successful, science-based vaccination strategy abroad, which includes mixed vaccination schedules, extended dose intervals and a portfolio of safe and effective vaccines.
  • The Government of Canada is continuing to engage with Indigenous leaders across the country to ensure that design of the proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples. This includes ensuring the program is equitable and accessible, and takes into account the needs of Indigenous communities, including Canada-U.S. border communities.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers, including Canadians, who are eligible to come to Canada must continue to upload their current vaccine documentation through ArriveCAN in English or French (or a certified translation) if they want to be eligible for the exemption from quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements.
  • The Government of Canada continues to work with the World Health Organization and its international partners to share data proving the efficacy of a mixed vaccine schedule. Vaccines are safe and effective, and provide strong protection against severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Canadians who currently need proof they were vaccinated can contact their province or territory for the record or receipt of vaccination if they don’t already have it. More information is available at Canada.ca/vaccine-proof.

Transport Canada extending restrictions on direct flights from India until September 21, 2021

Government of Canada issued this statement:

The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of all people in Canada by continuing to take a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening the border. Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures is informed by the continued monitoring of available data and scientific evidence, including the vaccination rate of Canadians and our improving epidemiological situation.

Based on the latest public health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Transport Canada is extending the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until September 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT. All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included.

Transport Canada is also extending the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 molecular tests for travelers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country – other than India – before continuing their journey to Canada.

The Government of Canada continues to closely monitor the epidemiological situation, and will be working closely with the Government of India and aviation operators to ensure appropriate procedures are put in place to enable a safe return of direct flights as soon as conditions permit.

While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves.