Canada’s airports are faced with growing volumes of air travellers as business and leisure continues to globalize. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) understands the challenges that arise from the increase of international travel, while maintaining our commitment to facilitating the efficient flow of travellers and trade, and keeping Canadians and our borders safe.
To enhance our commitment, in February 2018 the Agency launched the International to International In-Transit Initiative (ITI). This pilot project involves leveraging existing technologies and streamlining airport border procedures to ensure that passengers who are simply transiting through Canadian airports no longer have to undergo the process of being admitted to Canada.
Building upon the success of the Primary Inspection Kiosk (PIK) project as reported in last year’s Blueprint 2020 report, the CBSA sought to extend the use of kiosk technology to process in-transit travellers. The result was a successful pilot project that was carried out in only five months.
Positioning Canada as a World Leader in Transit Travel
ITI offers an innovative alternative to traditional customs processing. The strategy behind ITI is that by shortening connection times through Canadian airports, flights through those airports become more attractive to air carriers and travellers. These flights are then more prominently shown on travel search engines because they offer shorter layovers and quicker travel times.
The anticipated result is increased business with a modest investment. ITI supports growth in Canadian business, reduces traveller wait times and cuts the administrative costs of processing travellers transiting through Canada to other destinations. In short, ITI aims to position Canada as a preferred transit hub worldwide.
Building the Border of the Future
In partnership with Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto airport authorities, 52 ITI kiosks have been put in place from February to May 2018 and have already been used to process over 500,000 travellers. Although the pilot project remains in its infancy, it is anticipated that ITI will facilitate the passage of 1.05 million in-transit travellers in Canadian airports this year. This pilot aims to improve the traveller experience and allow the CBSA to commit its resources to higher priorities. This project is an example of how the CBSA is taking an innovative approach to promote a freer flow of the transit process by building on existing technologies to enhance Canadian business, strengthen our economy and better serve Canadians and travellers worldwide.
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