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May 25, 2022

IATA urges Canadian Government to address delays at airports

The delays have disrupted the travel plans of nearly 100,000 passengers a week over the past four weeks.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the Canadian Government to take measures to address delays at immigration and security at main international airports across the nation.

In its letter, IATA noted that the wait times at security screening in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport have increased two-fold.

IATA said that travellers on almost every second international flight arriving in the country are experiencing wait times on the flight for up to three hours before they were allowed to disembark.

As a result of this, the travel plans of nearly 100,000 passengers a week were disrupted over the past four weeks.

The trade association has suggested that the relevant authorities introduce a separate queue for international passengers that did not present details about health and vaccination in advance through ArriveCAN, an application designed to provide mandatory travel information for entry to Canada.

It has also asked Canadian authorities to upgrade the mobile app version of ArriveCAN by including the immigration and customs related questions that allow passengers to provide their details well in advance of arrival.

This feature is currently only available on the web-based ArriveCAN in Toronto and Vancouver.

IATA also suggested offering the provision of home testing.

It asked the government to ensure that there is adequate staff at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) for efficient immigration and passenger screening.

IATA Americas regional vice-president Peter Cerda said: “Aviation, along with travel and tourism, were hit particularly hard during the Covid-19 pandemic and even more so in Canada, due to the very strict border control measures implemented by the government.

“Following the easing of many of these restrictions, demand is coming back and it is clear that people want to travel. We can therefore ill afford to have passengers subjected to unacceptable wait times both on arrival in the country or on departure.

“The relevant authorities must urgently consider removing the last remaining travel-related Covid-19 restrictions and work with the industry on policies and processes which will allow passengers to pass through airports with no undue delay.”

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