Got travel plans coming up? You’ll want to take note of this latest update about the delays at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. The airport released a statement on May 7 saying that both arriving and departing passengers will now be affected by longer than normal wait times.

“Your airport experience will be different than previous trips,” said the statement. According to the airport, a “sharp increase in travellers” and ongoing health screening measures are making it harder to process international flights at their usual pace.

Before the pandemic, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers could clear an international arriving passenger within 15 to 30 seconds on average. Now, with additional questions, it takes two to four times as long.

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Now, during late afternoon or evening peak periods when many flights are arriving at once, some passengers are required to wait on the plane or in designated areas and slowly filtered into the customs hall.

The airport notes that all passengers are still required to submit and present their health info via ArriveCAN. Travellers who are fully vaccinated may also be randomly pulled for COVID-19 testing at the airport, but won’t be required to quarantine while awaiting results.

Passengers departing from Pearson will also likely encounter delays throughout the busy summer travel season.

Those flying internationally are asked to show up three hours early and those flying within Canada should arrive two hours in advance, as extra questions and documents are now required by airlines, making the check-in process take longer.


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Also contributing to the delays for pre-board screening are staffing issues at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. That’s what the chief operating officer of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), Craig Bradbrook, said to CP24.

The GTAA has recently called on the Canadian federal government to get rid of some of the measures causing delays for passengers.

Until action is taken, it looks like we’ll just have to continue to pack our patience when we travel through Pearson Airport.