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Edmonton International Airport offers reminders to passengers as travel ramps back up – Edmonton

Air travel is ramping back up as more restrictions on flying eased Monday. With that, the Edmonton International Airport wants to provide passengers with some tips as they head back into the sky, some for the first time in more than two years.

Effective Monday, air travelers are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel within Canada.

“That’s going to add more passengers into the mix and it’s been a busy morning already today,” said Steve Maybee, vice president of operations, infrastructure and communications with EIA.

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That increase in passenger load — combined with other travel restrictions that have lifted over the past few weeks — have led to major delays at some airports across Canada, particularly at security checkpoints. While EIA has experienced some delays, Maybee said the airport isn’t seeing the same delays as some other airports across the country.

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“We’ve been working with our airline partners, our security partners, CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) and others for quite some time because we’ve known this is going to come — this increase in traffic — so we’ve been working with all of our partners for quite a few months to be prepared. And everybody staffed up and is ready to go.”

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Maybee said EIA laid off about 30 per cent of its staff over the course of the pandemic. While the airport isn’t back to full staffing capacity, Maybee said they are bringing back staff in a systemic way as travel ramps up.

“We are bringing people back as we can. As a company, we laid off about 30 per cent of our staff. We have brought back some and we’re going to keep adding on as we need to, as things grow and as we’re hopeful as the industry rebounds.”

Maybee and a representative from CATSA held a media availability at the airport Monday to remind travelers of all the important things they need to do before boarding a plane.

“We’ve been (through) just over two years of restrictions of all kinds and changes. Now people are traveling again. But honestly, a lot of people have forgotten how to travel. And they’re forgetting what to put in their suitcase or what they can pack in their carry on,” Maybee said.

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Click to play video: 'Understanding Canada's suspension of the travel vaccine mandate'







Understanding Canada’s suspension of the travel vaccine mandate


Understanding Canada’s suspension of the travel vaccine mandate

Officials recommend passengers arrive early and be prepared. They encourage people to visit the EIA website before heading to the airport to learn what they can and cannot pack in their checked luggage, as well as their carryon bag.

“They need to be prepared,” Maybee said. “Their carry-on bags: look at what size liquid and gels you’re packing, making sure you’re not carrying water bottles on, making sure you know any sharp objects are taken out.”

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“The most common one is liquids,” added Sandra Alvarez, CATSA client satisfaction team lead. “Everyone is traveling with liquids, gels or aerosols. So it’s very important to make sure that your containers are 100 ml or less per container, and that the total of those containers must fit in a clear, resealable plastic bag no more than one litre. And it’s one bag per passenger.

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“It’s just something that we want to make sure that passengers are aware. A lot of us haven’t traveled in a while.”

Alvarez urged people to have their boarding pass out and ready for the security agents when going through security, not in their carryon bags or purses. Officials also reminded people to make sure their pockets are empty and they remove laptops from carry-on bags before heading into the screening area.


Click to play video: 'Vancouver International Airport confronts passenger delays'







Vancouver International Airport confronts passenger delays


Vancouver International Airport confronts passenger delays

Maybee said EIA’s security checks work well when everyone in line cooperates.

“We have CATSA plus here, a very efficient, effective system — if people use it correctly and follow the rules,” Maybee said. “Have your bags opened up, have your laptop out. If you can do that stuff before you get in (line), it’ll just make the system way faster.”

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Maybee also urged passengers to be patient.

“People are re-learning how to travel. The people working here are re-learning. Some of those people were out of work for two years and now they’re coming back. So be patient with people. They’re learning and trying the best they can to get people through as quickly as possible.”

While unvaccinated people can now travel within Canada, EIA reminded people that not all countries have lifted vaccination rules or testing requirements. Travelers are urged to know the rules for the country they plan to visit.

More information on the rules at EIA can be found on the airport’s website, and more information on domestic travel rules can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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