YVR wait times easing with security staff back to ‘pre-pandemic levels,’ feds say

A long line of passengers is seen waiting outside the security screening area at the Vancouver International Airport on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Global News

Transport Canada says it’s making progress in reducing passenger screening wait times at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

In a statement Wednesday, the agency said it had hired about 900 new Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) officers since April to help deal with the issue.

“CATSA has now effectively met its summer hiring target and matched its pre-pandemic staffing levels at the four largest airports,” it said.

Read more: No quick fix to long security lineups at YVR, airport says

About 13 per cent of passengers at YVR faced security screening waits of more than 15 minutes during the week of June 3 to 9, it said.

That’s half of the 26 per cent facing waits over 15 minutes recorded in the week of May 9 to 15, according to Transport Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

Along with boosting CATSA staffing levels, Transport Canada said it was “maximizing officer availability” of Canada Border Services Agency agents and had temporarily dropped randomized COVID-19 test to try and speed up transit through airports.

Click to play video: 'Long lineups at YVR' Long lineups at YVR
Long lineups at YVR – May 1, 2022

“We recognize that there is still work to be done, particularly for international arrivals at our largest airports, and we will continue to work with partners to reduce the delays in the travel system,” the statement reads.

In late April, YVR began warning travellers to come two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, warning “delays in passenger screening are resulting in long lines at the airport.”

Read more: Ottawa’s move to halt random COVID-19 testing ‘welcome news’ for Canada’s airports

In a Wednesday statement, the YVR said has currently averaging more than 50,000 passengers per day, and was “currently experiencing no delays.”

Story continues below advertisement

However, it said its early arrival advice had not changed.

“Similar to other large airports in Canada, at various points in the day passengers at YVR could experience long lines for security screening at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) checkpoints,” it said.

“We are strongly encouraging passengers to be patient and be prepared.”

Sponsored content