A New Program Will Speed Up Wait Times At Canada's Major Airports & Here's How It Works
Ahead of what's predicted to be a busy travel season, Canada's major airports will soon roll out a new program that will help to ease traveller wait times.
On Tuesday, May 23, Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced a new Verified Traveller program that will offer a faster and more efficient screening process for eligible travellers at certain airports across the country.
In a press conference, Alghabra announced that the government would be revamping a Trusted Traveller program at several airports next month.
The revamp will include eliminating certain time-consuming elements of getting processed at security, allowing, for instance, travellers to keep laptops, large electronics and liquids and gels in their carry-on, and keep their shoes, belt and jacket on while going through security.
The Verified Traveller program will help ease congestion at airports over time as the use of the dedicated lines grows, says Transport Canada. It comes after last summer's chaos after a surge in post-pandemic travel left airlines and airports overwhelmed, delayed and crowded.
According to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, verified individuals are those who have undergone extensive background checks and carry special photo IDs.
Some other benefits these passengers will be able to enjoy include being able to keep small items in their pockets when going through security and keeping any headwear on.
\u201cThe new Verified Traveller program will help ease congestion at our largest airports by improving security screening for eligible travellers while keeping the highest standards of security, just in time for the busy summer season!\u2b07\ufe0f\nhttps://t.co/e3zhIsgIY5\u201d— Omar Alghabra (@Omar Alghabra) 1684854292
They'll also be able to get front-of-the-line service at certain checkpoints at the airport.
Currently, the program is only for eligible individuals, including NEXUS and Global Entry members, active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and U.S. military, Canadian aircrew and airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Cards, international aircrew, RCMP officers, and Canadian police officers and constables.
However, these travellers can be accompanied by co-travellers who are 17 years old or younger and travellers who are 75 years old and older.
The dedicated Verified Traveller lines are expected to be available at the following Canadian airports by June 21, 2023:
- Vancouver International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
- Calgary International Airport
- Winnipeg International Airport
- Toronto-Pearson International Airport (T1 and T3)
- Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
"As someone who went through the line, I can tell you that it enhances the efficiency and speed at which travellers are processed," he said.
While the program is currently only open to select travellers, Alghabra said that they are "exploring other options" for travellers to subscribe or register with the program.
Interested travellers are encouraged to visit CATSA's website to learn more.