Airports Say Wait Times Grow As CATSA Funding Not Keeping Up

Open Jaw

Growing wait times at security screening – despite one of the highest airport security fees in the world – is a top concern for the Canadian Airports Council (CAC).

The group says funding to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) – the federal crown corporation responsible for screening – has failed to keep pace with growing traffic volumes.

"Canada's airports cannot answer with confidence today one of the most common questions to be posed by the travelling public: How long will it take me to get through security?" said CAC President Daniel-Robert Gooch. 

"Canada's airports have confidence in the security value being provided by the CATSA but when it comes to the passenger experience at screening, we cannot say today that our passengers are receiving value for money," Gooch added.

The CAC was making its case for more funding in the next federal budget as it presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

“The CAC is seeking additional resources for CATSA to provide an improved and more predictable level of service at screening for the next fiscal,” the group told the committee.

CAC says Canada is enjoying healthy air traffic growth, with a 24% increase in pax over the past 5 years.  Growth is anticipated to add as many pax to the system this year as pass annually through an airport the size of Halifax or Winnipeg (about 3.5 million).

“Without more of passengers' security fee money going to CATSA, wait times at screening will continue to rise,” the CAC warns.

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