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Regular travel cannot coexist with public health measures: Airport Council of Canada

Regular travel and public health measures are incompatible: Airports Council of Canada

Key Takeaways:

  • Because there isn’t enough physical space to accommodate the crowds, international landings at Canadian airports are backed up to the point where passengers are delayed for nearly an hour.

According to the Canadian Airports Council, international landings at Canadian airports are so backed up that passengers are being delayed on flights for nearly an hour when they land because there isn’t enough physical space to handle the crowds.

The COVID-19 rules are to blame, and the council has asked the federal government to eliminate random tests as well as public health questions at customs to reduce the lengthy delays passengers encounter when they arrive in Canada.

According to the interim president of the council, Monette Pasher, the extra measures mean that processing people as they arrive takes four times as long as before the pandemic. That was great when people didn’t travel, but it’s now a major issue.

“As we return to regular travel, we’re discovering that we simply cannot have these public health needs and testing at our borders,” she said.

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The situation is particularly terrible at Toronto Pearson International Airport, where passengers on 120 flights were stranded in their planes on Sunday while waiting in line for customs.

Pasher claimed that the delay could range from 20 minutes to nearly an hour.

She claims that airports are not meant for such a lengthy customs process and that space is not accessible to accommodate people. COVID-19 tests should not be conducted at the airport, she added, because they are rarely required in the community.

“With these health rules and tests in place, the two can’t coexist without putting enormous weight and strain on our system,” Pasher said.

A request for a response from the health and transportation ministry was not immediately returned.

Regular travel and public health measures are incompatible: Airports Council of Canada
Regular travel and public health measures are incompatible: Airports Council of Canada. Image from New of News

As the pandemic progressed, public health precautions were ramped up and down as new waves of the virus emerged. They are currently the least stringent in months, with vaccinated travelers only being tested at random.

Nonetheless, according to Conservative transportation critic Melissa Lantsman, the regulations are out of pace with comparable countries. She wants to understand why the Canadian government follows advice that differs from other countries.

“We’re effectively taking the government at its word that they’re receiving advice and acting on it,” she added, “but they haven’t shared any of that with the Canadian public.”

Long delays at airports convey a poor message to travelers. She is concerned about the impact on Canadian tourism as the industry attempts to recover from the pandemic dip this season.

“It says to go somewhere else because we’re not open for business,” she explained.

Source: CTV News

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