Transport Canada said it was “monitoring” the situation and disclosed some actions it has taken.
Travelers are expressing their frustration with government messaging regarding airport congestion management in Canada.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra took to Twitter on Sunday (July 24) to share information on how the federal government plans to tackle long delays at airports across the country.
“We are monitoring delays and congestion at major airports across Canada and continue to work with our partners to implement solutions that are yielding positive results,” he said.
The tweet was also linked to a press release about the government’s progress in reducing traveler wait times at Canadian airports.
But many locals are livid after flight delays caused travel chaos at major airports across Canada. Moreover, they say the government is not doing enough to rectify the problem.
Many Canadians found the use of the word “surveillance” problematic, noting that the government should work a little less to observe the situation and focus on solving the congestion.
“Hmm ‘monitoring?’ tweeted.
Paul Henderson echoes that feeling, “At least you’re watching him now. That’s progress for your department. Maybe soon you can actually do something.”
another place mentioned that it’s “Like watching a house burn. I’ll just stay here and monitor the situation. I could call the FD but we actually want the fire to burn longer.”
“It may not be a magic bullet, but the airline industry has said it will help reduce congestion significantly. Why don’t you listen to them? What do the mandates and enforcement accomplish?” he said.
David William has shared an image of flights at a Quebec City airport which shows almost every one of them being delayed.
— David William (@dhoughts86) July 24, 2022
Another person joked that the messaging remains the same every day without any changes.
Day 1… “we are monitoring congestion and delays”
Day 2… “we are monitoring congestion and delays”
Day 3000.. . “we are monitoring congestion and delay….. pic.twitter.com/pBz8y3G06k
— HBS Trudeau’s Carnivorous Genital Underwear (@Rusty_Grapes) July 24, 2022
How the Government of Canada handles the worst airports for delays
From July 11 to 21, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) screened 81% of passengers within 15 minutes at airports across Canada.
According to Transport Canada, passenger security screening wait times were reduced by 4% during the July 18-21 reporting period compared to the previous period (July 11-17) in three of the four major airports in the country: Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. However, wait times increased in Montreal during this period.
Less than 2% of travelers at Canadian airports waited more than 45 minutes to pass through security during the July 11-17 reporting period. During this period, air passenger arrivals also increased by 17,526 travelers and departures by 7,410.
Last week, Canada moved its random COVID-19 testing program from airports to offsite pharmacies and virtual self-testing appointments. The government notes that this allows it to respond to “worrying variations or changes in the epidemiological situation, while helping to alleviate congestion problems at airports”.
The program had been on hiatus since June 11 to unclog airports.
Transport Canada added that significant progress has been made to address the problem of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Canada’s largest airport, Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ). For the week of July 11 to 17, 58 planes were held on the tarmac compared to a peak of 373 the week of May 23 to 29.
Since April, more than 1,500 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada and the agency is making officers more available at the busiest airports.
Finally, the ArriveCAN process has been simplified for travelers arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and YYZ in Toronto by using the new optional CBSA Advance Reporting feature.
In a statement to Vancouver is greatthe transport minister’s office said the government takes airport delays “seriously” and will continue to work with partners to ensure a streamlined process for travellers.
“To date, over 1,500 CATSA screening officers have been hired across the country. As noted in our recent statement, while delays will certainly remain, the average passenger wait time is improving, for example between July 21 and July 25, with 81 [per cent] travelers screened in less than 15 minutes at Vancouver International Airport.
“We will continue our engagement with airports and airlines to ensure that bottlenecks at every stage of the passenger journey continue to be resolved.”