New technology to get travellers through Pearson Airport in Mississauga faster


Published July 29, 2022 at 4:26 pm

Pearson Airport in Mississauga, which has come under fire in recent months for scores of delayed and cancelled flights among other issues, has unveiled new technology that’s expected to move some travellers through Canada’s busiest airport in much quicker fashion.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) tweeted today (July 29) that “Entering Canada (at Pearson Airport Terminal 1) just got easier” thanks to the introduction of several new eGates that are expected to make for “a smooth and faster border experience” for travellers ages 16 and older.

CBSA is testing the eGates to determine if they’re a viable long-term partial solution to the lengthy waits many travellers have endured the past several months. The new technology is also being piloted at Vancouver and Montreal-Trudeau international airports.

Instead of waiting in longer customs lines, travellers can use eGates to confirm their identity and submit their previously completed customs/immigration declaration, CBSA officials say.

To use the eGates, travellers must use the Advance CBSA Declaration feature on the ArriveCan app to make a customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of flying into Pearson or either of the other two airports participating in the test.

“Submitting your declaration in advance will save you time when you arrive at the airport,” CBSA officials say, noting the process is part of their Traveller Modernization initiative that seeks to process travellers faster using new digital tools and technologies.

The practice of preparing in advance “will simplify your arrival experience at our busiest airports,” CBSA adds.

The advance declaration/eGates feature will be made available at more Canadian airports in the coming months.

After completing the necessary work ahead of time, arriving travellers will then scan their travel documents at the eGates, allowing for a quicker entry into Canada.

CBSA officials hope the new technology will provide some measure of relief for travellers and others at Canada’s busiest airports.

Since early spring, Pearson and other airports across Canada and beyond have experienced ongoing problems of delayed and cancelled flights, lost luggage, huge lineups and, at times, a general environment of chaos.

Staff shortages combined with unexpectedly large numbers of people returning to air travel after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted earlier this year have overwhelmed airports.

But the issues have been more prevalent at Pearson.

Last week, the Mississauga-based airport was identified as having more delayed flights–more than 52 per cent of scheduled trips–than any other airport in the world. The same study showed Pearson was fourth in the world in number of cancelled flights.

And a recent Ipsos poll revealed that seven out of 10 Canadians believe the situation at Pearson Airport and other airports across the country is an “embarrassment to Canada.”

Although a good number of travellers have recently posted to social media that their experiences at Pearson Airport were just fine, with no delays or other issues, many others tell stories of cancelled or delayed flights, huge waits and lost luggage.

An international travel influencer who has spent a lot of time at Pearson Airport offered a number of travel tips earlier this week for those using the Mississauga-based airport.

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