The chief executive of Saskatoon’s airport authority says they’ve worked with federal security officials to get security wait times under control.
Skyxe CEO Stephen Maybury told 650 CKOM host Brent Loucks wait times were back under control after mid-February saw reports of passengers waiting as long as 80 minutes to clear security.
He said the improvement came after discussions with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the federal body that oversees passenger screening at Canada’s airports.
“The CATSA team in Ottawa has approved some additional resources there,” Maybury said. “We’ve seen the wait times decrease.”
Maybury said the Saskatoon airport’s schedule can create challenges for CATSA when it comes to getting the right numbers of staff working the security lines.
“We’re called, essentially, a ‘headstart’ airport. Where there’s a ton of flights going out in the morning and then there are peaks and valleys throughout the day.”
CATSA has a stated goal of getting 85 per cent of passengers through security within 15 minutes. Short-term fix aside, Maybury said Ottawa will need to step up if it wants to maintain that goal in the years to come.
“Nationally, we’re seeing 6.3 per cent growth in passengers and we’re not seeing any change in funding levels,” Maybury said.
The Saskatoon airport saw its second-busiest year ever in 2017, with 1.46 million passengers passing through its doors.
Alongside efforts to keep security wait times under control, Maybury said the airport authority is planning upgrades to the pre-security area of the facility, as well as improvements to parking.