Deborah Flint, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said the aim is to help reduce passenger anxiety about what to expect when they travel.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority (CNW Group/Greater Toronto Airports Authority)

“Being an informed passenger, even if they are getting bad news, is going to make them feel more capable,” Flint said. “They’ll have a better experience.”

Airlines and airports have been struggling to cope with the massive travel resurgence this summer in the wake of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Staffing issues at carriers and federal agencies have cascaded into flight cancellations, baggage delays and endless queues.

As Canada’s largest airport hub, Pearson has been most affected by the problems. On some days, the airport has seen more than half of its flight departures delayed.

Flint said the situation is gradually improving, with the amount of time that arriving international travellers can expect to wait on their plane before deboarding dropping from an average of 33 minutes in April to just over 16 minutes in the last week of June.

But while additional staff have already been hired by the federal agencies responsible for security screening and customs, Flint said more are still needed, particularly during peak times.

“We need to keep the pressure on all parties to continue to bring stability to the system,” she said. “We are very forward looking, but right now we know the summer will continue to be challenged.”

Flint said Pearson also plans to launch an online dashboard that will publish live wait times for areas such as check-in and security clearance, so that passengers will know how long they should expect to wait before they ever arrive at the airport.

Pearson Airport creates new infographic to help travellers navigate system

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