The Government of Canada and industry continue efforts to reduce wait times and congestion at Canadian airports

Transport Canada

OTTAWA, ON, July 29, 2022 /CNW/ – 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 

  • From July 25-28, 86 percent of passengers were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). It improved from 81 percent the previous week of July 18-24.
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport: 85 percent for July 25-28.
    • Vancouver International Airport: 88 percent for July 25-28.
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 82 percent for July 25-28.
    • Calgary International Airport: 86 percent for July 25-28. 

Passenger travel volumes 


  • For the week of July 18-24:
    • Total number of air passenger arrivals (transborder and international): close to 631,000.
    • Daily average of a bit more than 90,000 passengers.
      • This is close to 11,000 higher than the previous week and represents more than 77 percent of the level for the same week in 2019.


  • For the week of July 18-24:
    • Total number of air passenger departures: close to 1,144,000
    • Daily average of more than 163,000 passengers.
      • This is close to 4,300 more passengers than the previous week and represents almost 83 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 18-24, 30 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 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 customs hall.

Flight cancellations and delays

  • The performance at Canada’s four largest airports in relation to flight cancellations and delays has improved over recent weeks, apart from Montréal-Trudeau International Airport where the situation remains stable. However, the proportions of delays and cancellations are still higher, compared to 2019.

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. This week, the Minister met with the leadership of the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport and Porter Airlines to discuss the recovery of the sector. The Minister also had similar meetings last week with senior officials from the Edmonton, Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports.
  • 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.

Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing

  • Since April, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
    • The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International 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 CBSA are adding 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport by the end of this week. CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.

Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations and lost or delayed baggage

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency developed an information resource 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.
  • We also expect airlines to increase communication with passengers in advance when their flights are delayed or cancelled.

Improving ArriveCAN

  • Travellers arriving at the following airports can save time by choosing to use the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature, in ArriveCAN, to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival:
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport
    • Vancouver International Airport
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport – Newly added since July 28
  • This feature will also be expanded to other international airports in the coming months.
  • Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance – shaving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction. With the thousands of travellers arriving in Canada through the airports each day, the use of the Advance CBSA Declaration option in ArriveCAN has the potential of saving hours of processing time.

Transport Canada is online at

Severe turbulence led to helicopter collision with terrain on Bowen Island, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 28 July 2022 — Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A21P0018) into the Airspan Helicopters Ltd.’s Bell 212 loss of control and collision with terrain that occurred on Bowen Island, British Columbia (BC) in March 2021. The investigation found that environmental conditions and the helicopter’s system limitations led to the occurrence.

On 05 March 2021, the Bell 212 helicopter, with two pilots on board, was travelling from Sechelt, BC, to Cypress Provincial Park, BC. During the cruise portion of the flight, the helicopter entered wind shear and experienced a sudden loss of control. After the crew regained control of the helicopter, the number 2 engine experienced an uncommanded in-flight shutdown and the flight controls became very hard to manipulate. A location on nearby Bowen Island, BC, was selected for an emergency landing. During the descent, the helicopter began a rapid rotation to the right, which the pilots were unable to arrest. After several rotations, the helicopter collided with trees and came to rest on a rocky ridge on the northwest corner of Bowen Island. Both occupants received serious injuries. The helicopter was substantially damaged.

The investigation found that at the time of the occurrence, the environmental conditions were conducive to severe mechanical turbulence, lee waves, and low-level wind shear along the helicopter’s flight path in the vicinity of Bowen Island. The pilots were aware of the forecasted weather, low-level wind shear, and mechanical turbulence, but decided to continue with the day’s planned flights based on improving weather forecast later in the day, the desire to complete the operational flight, and the observation that other aircraft were operating around the Sechelt Aerodrome.

The helicopter entered an area of severe turbulence that led to a loss of control, that resulted in excessive flapping of the main rotor blades. As a result, the main rotor blades contacted and severed the tail rotor driveshaft, causing a loss of tail rotor thrust and yaw control. The helicopter’s extreme attitude during the initial loss of control likely caused the hydraulic system to malfunction, the number 2 engine to shut down in flight, and the number 1 engine to reduce fuel flow (resulting in less power), which subsequently reduced the main rotor speed. As the helicopter slowed for the emergency landing, yaw control was lost due to the absence of tail rotor thrust, and the helicopter collided with the terrain.

Following the occurrence, Airspan Helicopters Ltd. temporarily suspended all operations, completed an internal safety investigation, and took several actions to mitigate future occurrences.

For additional information, please see the investigation report.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

WestJet workers in Calgary and Vancouver ratify historic first contract

CALGARY, AB, July 29, 2022 /CNW/ – Newly unionized WestJet workers in Calgary and Vancouver have ratified a first contract that gives members at least a 13% wage increase, their first increase in five years.

“After nine months of challenging bargaining, the Local 531 bargaining committee achieved long overdue and significant wage increases, improved benefits and better working conditions,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the National President and lead on the airline sector.

Newly unionized WestJet workers in Calgary and Vancouver have ratified a first contract.

Unifor Local 531 Bargaining Committee lead by Scott Doherty (CNW Group/Unifor)
Unifor Local 531 Bargaining Committee lead by Scott Doherty (CNW Group/Unifor)

“Members starting out in the wage grid will see their wages rise as much as 40% and members at the top of the scale will see increases between 13% and 17% over the life of the agreement.”

Unifor Local 531 represents nearly 800 baggage service agents,(BSA’s) customer service agents (CSA.s) and priority service agents (PSA’s) in Calgary and Vancouver airports after being certified in May of 2021.

Steps have merged, condensing the time workers progress, ensuring faster wage increases. A 5% premium over CSA/PSA wage scale replaces the $1 per hour premium previously in place. An extra step at the top of the grid giving members an additional increase after 8 years of service.

Other gains include a $100.00 yearly uniform allowance, paid breaks, 100 hour stat holiday credit, continuation of the WestJet Savings Plan, seniority rights, 12 sick days for full time and 10 for part time workers, minimum rest periods, and improved scheduling.

The employer has also agreed that casual employees will not exceed 10% of the workforce.

Bargaining began in October 2021, and Unifor Local 531 filed for conciliation with the Canadian government on April 26, 2022.

“Together we have proven there is power in a union and we strongly encourage WestJetters in Edmonton to join Unifor Local 531. Our bargaining committee worked hard for these important gains and we appreciate the unwavering solidarity from the members,” said Sherwin Antonio, member of Local 531’s Calgary Bargaining Committee. 

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.