Passengers at Vancouver International Airport faced long lines at security checkpoints on Sunday due to a shortage of security screening officers.
In a statement, YVR attributed the delays to a “significant and unexpected staff shortage” faced by the security screening provider hired by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the Crown corporation federal government responsible for all passenger security checks. CATSA contracts out security services at various airports to third-party employers, such as Allied Universal at YVR.
Passengers continue to pass through security screening but are experiencing longer than normal wait times at pre-board checkpoints for domestic and international departures, the airport authority said.
A video posted on social media showed a long queue at a security checkpoint for departures from the United States.
The airport said additional staff had been recruited to help travelers and support security screening staff and thanked passengers for their patience.
He recommended passengers arrive at YVR three hours prior to departure until further notice. He also said there had been some flight delays and passengers should check their flight status with their airline.
The airport said there was no significant increase in passenger numbers on Sunday. The airport handled an average of 67,000 passengers a day this week, while 69,000 are expected on Sunday,
“This is not the experience we want people to have at YVR and we apologize for that,” the statement read.
In a statement, CATSA said its service contractor, Allied Universal, is experiencing “high absenteeism” among screening officers at YVR.
“We are doing our best with the resources available,” the statement said.
Security guards staged a rally in May to demand better wages and working conditions at Vancouver International Airport.
A union spokesperson said at the time that many security guards who had been laid off during the pandemic had not returned to work when demand for travel increased. Those who returned faced below-average wages and harsh working conditions.