The Feds Have Announced New Measures To Make Travelling Through Canada's Airports Easier

Mandatory on-arrival testing will be removed for some travellers in airports.✈️

Travellers moving through a busy Vancouver Airport. Right: Vancouver airport during a quieter moment.
Senior Editor

Travellers moving through a busy Vancouver Airport. Right: Vancouver airport during a quieter moment.

The federal government has laid out its plan to make travelling through Canadian airports easier, following weeks of backlogs, lengthy lines and delays all over the country.

Last month, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra blamed the chaotic scenes at Canada's airports on a "significant surge in demand" for travel post-pandemic.

In a statement, the government said it recognizes the impact of the existing wait times and addressed reports of delays at Canadian customs, U.S. customs, airport security screening, luggage handling and more.

"We are also witnessing similar phenomena at other airports around the world," it said.

Officials have a plan to ease the pressure by increasing the number of screening officers at checkpoints in airports, with 400 additional employees in training right now who are set to be deployed before the end of June.

The feds say the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has recruited almost 100% of their target numbers of screening staff for many airports too, including Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International Airport, which have been notoriously busy and backlogged.

PHAC is also working with the CBSA to streamline COVID-19 travel restrictions. For example on-arrival mandatory random testing will be removed as a requirement on the international to domestic connections process.

Airport and airline scheduling is also being adjusted to accommodate peak travel times.

An "outbound screening committee" has now been created to address bottlenecks at pre-board security screening and pre-clearance departure checkpoints, as well.

Pearson alone has plans to add 25 kiosks to speed up processing times.

The feds say that the moves they've already made are "paying off," as the number of passengers waiting 30 minutes or more for outbound screening at large airports like Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary have halved.

On Wednesday, June 1, the government confirmed that Canada's travel restrictions would be extended by another month.

It means requirements like proof of full vaccination, use of the ArriveCAN app and masking in airports and on airlines will remain in place for a little longer.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.