Calgary adds security checkpoint

The new security checkpoint at Pier B at Calgary International Airport (photo: Calgary Airport Authority).

Calgary International Airport has added a new security checkpoint while it looks for a long-term solution to reduce heavy crowding during peak times.

Three new screening lanes have been added near the airport’s B Pier to reduce wait times for domestic departures. The new lanes will be open in the morning Sunday through Friday, representing a 30% increase in screening capacity.

Two lanes will serve all passengers, while one will be dedicated for priority passengers, families, and people with accessibility needs.

“PBS-B is an interim solution while the airport and CATSA look at long-term solutions to consolidate domestic screening into one location in the future,” said the airport in a blog post, though it warns delays may still be possible.

Calgary warned passengers via Twitter through most of the summer of possible delays at security checkpoints. The airport has seen greater than four per cent more passengers this year compared to 2018’s records. That all adds up to hundreds of thousands more people using the facility.

Travellers have taken to social media to vent their frustration at long waits to get through security to their flights. One passenger, Michael Jones tweeted on October 15, “How is 70 mins wait time acceptable for a security line?!? This is a large deterrent for wanting to fly through Calgary!”

Calgary is not the only airport to experience challenges with security screening. Other airports have complained that resources were not keeping up with booming passenger numbers.

Passengers pay a screening fee on each ticket, though the money flows into the federal government’s coffers. Toronto International was the only airport last year in Canada to subsidize screening services to reduce wait times.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is responsible for screening passengers at the country’s largest airports. The federal government announced in its last budget that it would review the authority’s status, with a view to privatizing services to better match needs and funding.