11 AUG 2017: The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has endured budget cuts since 2014, although passenger volumes have increased as have billing rates for the screening contractors.  Then last month US Homeland Security tightened security measures on flights to the US, which resulted in excessive wait times at security check points at Canadian airports.  Some airports have taken necessary measures to address the situation.

This year the Vancouver airport did what that the Toronto airport has been doing since 2014; signing contracts with CATSA to staff more officers at security checkpoints.

The CBC reports that The GTAA paid $6 million last year and is paying $10 million this year to Ottawa to make up for inadequate service from CATSA.

"Security screening is one of the major causes of passenger dissatisfaction at Toronto Pearson and at most airports, where wait times are significantly longer than at many other major international airports," GTAA spokesperson Robin Smith said to the CBC.

"At peak times, passengers waited more than 60 minutes for screening services" in 2016, he said.

CATSA, established in 2002 (after 9/11) is a crown corporation responsible for screening passengers and baggage is fully funded by the Canadian government.

It used to have a target of 95% of passengers getting through security in 15 minutes, but has revised that target to be 85% at Canada’s eight largest airports.  

Presently passengers are charged for security screening for their flights, ranging from $7.50 for a one-way domestic flight, to more than $12 on a flight to the US, and almost $26 on an international flight. The money goes into general revenues and not directly to CATSA.

Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council wants the funds collected to go to CATSA.

"Without a change to CATSA's funding, the system will just continue to deteriorate," he said.

CATSA spokesperson Mathieu Larocque says the agency and Transport Canada "are working together on a funding solution."

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